Frightened Rabbit has made good progress this year but will need further improvement raised 8lb for winning at Carlisle. Sleepy Haven never looked like catching the winner when runner-up at Carlisle last time but MONFASS finished clear of the rest when second at Kelso on his reappearance. Rose Dobbin’s charge looks up to winning off his current mark on that evidence and gets the nod. Duchess Ravenwaves has yet to win over hurdles but the Irish raider will relish the testing ground while Applaus should do better back in this lower grade having gone close at Southwell on his penultimate start.
Shetland Bus (GER) 5-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, 5th halfway, improved to challenge before straight, ridden in close 4th entering straight, no impression from last, kept on same pace, 4th of 9, 3 1/2l behind Licklighter (11-12) at Wexford 2m 4f gd in Jul.
Sleepy Haven (IRE) 9-1 (11-7) Mid-division, outpaced 4 out, rallied after next, stayed on into 2nd after last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 9, 11l behind Attention Seaker (11-6) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp (4) sft in Oct.
Duchess Ravenwaves 2-1fav (9-11) Mid-division early, 6th halfway, pushed along from 3 out, one pace from next, 6th of 11, 16l behind Darver Star (11-6) at Killarney 2m 1f hcp Yielding - Soft in Aug.
Challow (IRE) 12-1 (10-12) Held up, headway 4 out, driven after next, never able to challenge, 4th of 10, 19l behind Ribble Valley (10-12) at Hexham 2m (4) hvy in Nov.
Frightened Rabbit (USA) 3-1fav (11-5) Made all, ridden last, kept on well, won at Carlisle 2m 1f hcp (4) sft in Nov beating Maypole Class (11-12) by 2 1/2l, 14 ran.
Applaus (GER) 4-1 (10-1) Raced wide in touch, reminder after 5th, mistake next, pushed along after 4 out, headway chasing leaders before next, ridden and weakened between last 2, 4th of 8, 16l behind Sakhee's City (11-8) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp (3) sft in Nov.
Monfass (IRE) 10-1 (11-4) Mid-division, headway 5 out, chased leaders next, every chance after 2 out, kept on same pace, 2nd of 14, 4 1/2l behind Gennady (11-10) at Kelso 2m hcp (4) gs in Oct.