Pauline Robson sent out last year’s winner but Katgary hasn’t won over hurdles in almost three years and never over a trip this short. He was also more than 12 lengths behind Mirsaale at Perth back in August and is only a pound better off. Keith Dalgleish’s charge won over track and trip a month later off today’s mark so a revival is not out of the question, though others are preferred. MONFASS was raised 5lb after winning at Carlisle last month but Lorcan Murtagh’s claim takes care of that. If in the same mood, Rose Dobbin’s bottom weight could go close again but Chti Balko can’t be left out of calculations after returning to winning ways at Haydock and Charmant is on a roll, though upped in grade and badly weighted compared to when he finished just ahead of the selection at Wetherby last season. Cornborough and Dexcite are more than capable at this level and should also be in the firing-line.
Chti Balko (FR) 11-4 (11-12) Made virtually all, not always fluent, clear from last, stayed on well, won at Haydock 2m hcp (3) hvy in Dec beating Sleepy Haven (11-1) by 6l, 6 ran.
Mirsaale 14-1 (11-12) In rear, weakened before 3 out, last of 9, dist behind Cresswell Legend (11-2) at Musselburgh 3m hcp (3) gs in Jan.
Katgary (FR) 66-1 (11-7) Tracked leader, led 7 out, headed 3 out, weakened from 2 out, 4th of 5, 12 1/2l behind Buveur D'air (11-7) at Newcastle 2m (1) sft in Dec.
Cornborough 16-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, outpaced after 2 out, stayed on flat, went 4th and closing towards finish, 4th of 10, 3 3/4l behind Smaoineamh Alainn (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp (3) sft in Dec.
Jassas (FR) 16-1 (11-12) Held up in touch in mid-division, closed 4th, lost place before 2 out, weakened, 6th of 11, 19l behind Manny Owens (10-9) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp (4) gs in Dec.
Charmant (FR) 11-10fav (11-12) Towards rear, headway before 3 out, went 2nd from 2 out, led last, kept on well, won at Ayr 2m hcp (4) hvy in Dec beating Our Lucas (10-8) by 5l, 8 ran.
Imada (IRE) 8-13fav (11-6) Tracked leaders, ridden 2 out, no impression, 3rd of 8, 10 3/4l behind Mister Kit (11-0) at Carlisle 2m 1f (4) gs in Mar.
Blue Hussar (IRE) 9-1 (11-0) Clear lead until 3rd, headed after 7th, 4th and no extra when mistake last, 4th of 5, 25 1/4l behind Limited Reserve (11-12) at Haydock 2m 3f hcp (2) hvy in Dec.
Dexcite (FR) 7-1 (10-13) Held up in rear, headway after 3 out, blundered 2 out, went 4th flat, never on terms, 4th of 8, 7 1/2l behind Irish Roe (11-5) at Doncaster 2m 1f hcp (3) gs in Dec.
Monfass (IRE) 10-1 (11-0) Mid-division, headway before 3 out, led before last, kept on well, won at Carlisle 2m 1f hcp (2) sft in Dec beating Craig Star (11-6) by 2 1/2l, 9 ran.