The expensive debutant Victory Surge will have his supporters but because he is such an unknown we prefer the chances of TRACHONITIS with Rockiteer also figuring high on the shortlist. Victory Surge was bought by connections for 105,000 euros as a three year old after fetching half that as a yearling. The gelding is well enough bred and should be in the mix. On the other hand we have at least seen the selection, Trachonitis, firstly as a winner on the level and latterly placing over course and distance in October. He pulled hard on that last run putting pay to chances of victory but it was a promising return to life in this sphere and the break will have done him good. Rockiteer has put in some solid efforts to be given a rating of 110 but has weakened late on every time perhaps suggesting he doesn¿t quite have the stamina for national hunt racing. Latin Scholar was well tailed off last time in a race were the form is working out well and many of the newcomers could be anything but in a trappy little affair we side with Trachonitis.
Japura (USA) 12-1 (8-13) Raced keenly, prominent, ridden over 2f out, soon lost place and weakened quickly 2f out, last of 9, 14l behind Prince Charlemagne (9-2) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Feb (Flat).
Rockiteer (IRE) 5-2jt-fav (11-5) Led, headed 2 out, soon weakened, 4th of 12, 8l behind Princeful (11-5) at Fakenham 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Jan.
Royal Premier (IRE) 40-1 (10-12) Mid-division, chased leaders 4 out, soon weakened, 7th of 13, 25l behind Midsummer Magic (10-9) at Fakenham 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Jan.
Trachonitis (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, pulled hard, headway after 3 out, switched left when not fluent last, weakened flat, 3rd of 14, 6l behind Levera (11-4) at Huntingdon 2m nov hdl (3) gd in Oct.
Victory Surge (IRE) Old Vic gelding out of Quinnsboro Guest.
Simply Sunshine (IRE) 12-1 (10-7) Held up mid-division, ridden approaching 3 out, soon weakened, 7th of 14, well behind Jenny Potts (10-7) at Wetherby 2m mrs nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Slickdalay (IRE) 100-1 (11-2) Led, headed after 3rd, led again next, headed 5th, weakened next, tailed off, 6th of 8, well behind Silk Affair (10-4) at Towcester 2m 3f mdn hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Latin Scholar (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Always in rear, 9th of 11, 49l behind Ski Sunday (11-0) at Hereford 2m 1f 4yo mdn hdl (5) sft.
Long Distance (FR) 11-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, some headway 5th, ridden and weakened 3 out, 9th of 13, well behind Starluck (11-5) at Fakenham 2m 3yo nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Clipperdown (IRE) 25-1 (9-7) Awkward start, soon prominent, driven to challenge over 2f out, soon weakened, last of 7, 33l behind Bahar Shumaal (9-0) at Leicester 1m hcp 0-90 (3) gf in Jun (Flat).
McEldowney 15-2 (11-0) Mid-division, ridden and struggling after 5th, tailed off, 9th of 18, well behind Moonlight Music (10-3) at Uttoxeter 2m nov sll hdl (5) hvy in Feb.
Risk (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, weakened approaching 3 out, 14th of 18, well behind American Trilogy (11-0) at Aintree 2m mdn hdl (3) sft in Oct.