The unbeaten FINIAN’S OSCAR, who landed the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle on only his second start under Rules, is having his final prep race before heading for Cheltenham and should have few problems giving weight to this bunch.Whatmore, second to a subsequent winner at Leicester last month, is probably the one for forecast-backers as Seven Nation Army is thoroughly exposed and the mare Taws will likely benefit from a step up in distance as she was a dour stayer on the Flat.
Finian's Oscar (IRE) 11-10fav (11-7) Tracked leader, stepped at 2nd, led before 2 out, soon clear, hit last, stayed on strongly, ridden out, easily, won at Sandown 2m (1) sft in Jan beating Capitaine (11-7) by 5l, 6 ran.
Seven Nation Army (IRE) 8-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, 2nd after 2nd, mistake 3rd, lost 2nd 3 out, stayed on same pace before next, 4th of 9, 8l behind Percy Street (10-7) at Taunton 2m (4) gd in Jan.
Whatmore 16-1 (11-5) Held up mid-division, headway before 2 out to chase leaders, kept on well to take 2nd place run-in, always well held, 2nd of 13, 7l behind Top Ville Ben (11-5) at Leicester 2m (4) gs in Jan.
Taws 20-1 (11-6) Raced wide in mid-division, headway chasing leaders after 5th, modest 4th before the last, 4th of 14, 13l behind My Khaleesi (11-6) at Fontwell 2m 2f mdn (5) sft in Jan.
Ronnie Baird 250-1 (10-12) Raced wide in mid-division, weakened quickly before 4 out, soon lost touch, tailed off, 10th of 11, dist behind Final Choice (10-12) at Newbury 2m (3) gs in Dec.
Civitesses (FR) 100-1 (11-2) Led until inside final 3f, chased leaders, weakened 2f out, 10th of 14, 26 1/4l behind Polly's Pursuit (11-2) at Lingfield 2m (6) pol in Jan.