It's a while since City Theatre showed any worthwhile for though he has fallen to an attractive mark as has Hohlethelonely, who showed a bit more in first-time blinkers at Bangor before Christmas. Small Fly was well beaten in a seller at Leicester on Wednesday and Pipe Banner hasn't raced since May so this could be a good opportunity for OFF THE GROUND. Emma Lavelle's son of Oscar is lightly raced and his latest fourth behind Ballyrock came in above-average maiden hurdle at Hereford - this may well be less competitive.
Pipe Banner 9-1 (11-5) Mid-division, in touch 5th, outpaced after 2 out (usual 3 out), ridden and stayed on to chase leading pair before bypassed last, never on terms, 3rd of 12, 6l behind Kylenoe Fairy (10-4) at Newton Abbot 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gf in May.
City Theatre (IRE) 40-1 (10-12) Pressed leader, lost place approaching 6th, behind when mistake next, tailed off, 7th of 11, well behind Christopher Wren (11-2) at Leicester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Dec.
Off The Ground (IRE) 4-1 (11-0) Mid-division, headway on inner 4 out, in 4th and no impression from 2 out, 4th of 15, 6l behind Ballyrock (11-0) at Hereford 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) sft in Dec.
Small Fly (IRE) 17-2 (10-12) Tracked leaders, joined leader after 6th, led 2 out (usual 3 out), ridden and headed after last (usual 2 out), no impression flat, 2nd of 7, 9l behind Ministerofinterior (10-11) at Leicester 2m 4f sll hdl (5) gd in Dec.
Hohlethelonely 15-2 (10-11) Tracked leaders, led 8th, headed 2 out, one pace, 3rd of 8, 6l behind Radmores Revenge (11-2) at Bangor 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) hvy in Dec.
Pearl (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, not fluent 6th, weakened 3 out, tailed off, 8th of 13, 47l behind Black Mac (11-2) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.
Bariolo (FR) 80-1 (10-12) Settled towards rear, headway approaching 2 out, never dangerous, 7th of 14, 31l behind Trip The Light (10-12) at Plumpton 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.