slowly into stride, took keen hold and soon in mid-division, switched left entering straight to race alone on stands side rail, led overall and kept on well until held by winner far side inside final furlong
The jumps boys get a rare opportunity to pilot their way around the Sussex Downs in this handicap especially put on for them and although HAWRIDGE STAR is clearly not an easy prospect to train we'll side with him, as he goes so well fresh, ahead of Black Or Red and Trempari. Trainer Stuart Kittow took this race last year and looks to retain the title with our selection here. He doesn't seem to take much racing but returned after missing a season to easily land an apprentices' contest and after another break it's doubtful an extra eights pounds to carry will stop him if in the same mood. Black Or Red looks to have dropped to a better mark after some solid efforts under heavier burdens for romping home at Ffos Las in July. His last run also offered plenty of encouragement. Trempari took a weak race at Lingfield two starts back and despite a poor run last time can still find improvement to figure while No Rules is a reliable sort who should be in the mix. Not an easy start to the card but Hawridge Star goes well fresh and is the percentage call
Ned Ludd (IRE) 10-1 (9-11) In touch in mid-division, going well when not much room 3f out, ridden and unable to quicken over 2f out and soon beaten, 6th of 15, 11l behind Inchpast (9-4) at Goodwood 2m hcp 0-70 (5) gd in May.
Swordsman (GER) 15-2 (9-0) Tracked leaders, pushed along over 4f out, ridden and weakened over 1f out, 8th of 10, 30l behind Perfect Shot (8-10) at Newmarket 2m hcp 0-90 (3) gd in Aug.
Hawridge Star (IRE) 8-1 (10-10) Held up, headway 5f out, led over 2f out, drew clear from over 1f out, won at Haydock 1m 6f Am hcp (5) hvy in Sep '08 beating Ursis (11-2) by 5l, 17 ran.
No Rules 6-1 (8-6) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, kept on from over 1f out, no extra inside final furlong, 7th of 14, 8l behind Ecole D'art (8-13) at Ayr 2m 1f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Sep.
Forget It 3-1fav (9-3) Raced keenly, led 2f, stayed prominent, ridden 2f out, no impression over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 10th of 14, 6l behind Irish Ballad (8-11) at Lingfield 2m hcp (5) pol in Nov.
Black Or Red (IRE) 5-1fav (9-8) Held up in rear, stayed on inside final furlong, never troubled leaders, 6th of 13, 4 1/2l behind John Forbes (9-9) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp 0-70 (5) pol.
Blockley (USA) 5-1 (11-8) Slowly away, in rear, soon chasing leaders, went 2nd over 5f out, weakened over 3f out, 8th of 9, 18l behind Sky Quest (11-6) at Windsor 1m 4f am hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Aug.
Whitcombe Spirit 5-1 (8-6) In touch, pushed along 4f out, headway to chase leading pair over 1f out, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 8, 3 1/2l behind Arab League (8-11) at Newbury 2m app hcp 0-75 (5) gd.
Kokkokila 7-1 (9-10) In rear, never near leaders, 6th of 13, 25l behind Picot de Say (8-12) at Chepstow 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) hvy in Aug.
Damascus Gold 33-1 (10-3) Slowly away, soon pushed along in rear, brief effort on inside over 2f out, 8th of 9, 26l behind Soundbyte (10-8) at Goodwood 1m 3f am hcp (0-70) (4yo+) (5) gf in Sep.
Trempari 9-1 (8-10) Slowly into stride, took keen hold, headway to chase leader after 3f, ridden 4f out, lost second 3f out, soon weakened and eased, tailed off, last of 10, well behind Theola (8-12) at Pontefract 2m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Sep.
Enthusius 10-3 (9-11) Tracked winner, ridden and lost place over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 12, 22l behind Trempari (9-9) at Lingfield 2m hcp 0-65 (6) gf in Sep.
Hill Of Clare (IRE) 16-1 (8-9) Slowly away, in rear, wide and rapid headway to chase leader 3f out, ridden and soon every chance, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 10, 10l behind Follow The Dream (9-0) at Chepstow 2m 2f mdn hcap 0-65 (6) gd in Aug.
The Composer 12-1 (8-11) Held up in rear, ridden over 2f out, no impression, 3rd of 4, 9l behind Lady Hestia (10-0) at Bath 2m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) fm in Sep.