mid-division, headway 3 out, chased winner before last, no impression
led, headed briefly 2 out, ridden and headed before last, soon weakened
tracked leaders, in 3rd, pushed along before 2 out, weakened before last
in rear, pushed along 4 out, soon weakened
tracked leader and keen, going well when challenged and narrow leader when unseated rider 2 out
mid-division, pushed along and weakened 2 out
towards rear, headway before 3 out, ridden and weakened before last
close up, weakened after 3 out
in rear, headway after 3 out, led before last, ran on strongly
held up, mid-division, weakened after 3 out
Astrum is only 1-19 over hurdles but Harry Stock's claim is in his favour here. Suprise Vendor will ensure a strong gallop but is probably high enough in the weights now. Big River won the maiden hurdle on this card 12 months ago but hasn't been seen since, though is completely unexposed. ZARU's fitness will have to be taken on trust after a 721-day break but he won a better race off a higher mark here back in 2014 and should go close if retaining most of his ability. Cool Baranca seems to run every week but could play a part if in the mood.
Big River (IRE) 13-8fav (11-0) In touch, tracked leader 3 out, upsides last, ridden to lead flat, kept on, won at Kelso 2m mdn (4) gd in Oct beating Just Georgie (11-0) by 2l, 12 ran.
Zaru (FR) 25-1 (11-4) With leader, led before 4 out, headed 3 out, weakened after 2 out, at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp (3) gd in Nov.
Oak Vintage (IRE) 11-4 (11-5) Chased sole rival, outpaced before 2 out, no chance after, last of 2, 18l behind Traditional Dancer (11-5) at Kelso 2m 5f (4) gf in Oct.
Suprise Vendor (IRE) 7-2 (11-10) Led, joined by winner 2nd, headed narrowly and clear of rest after next, lost place after 3 out, no chance with winner when lost 2nd next, modest 4th from last, 4th of 9, 12 3/4l behind Lyric Street (11-12) at Carlisle 2m 1f hcp (4) gd in May.
Astrum 22-1 (11-7) Led, soon joined, headed over 5f out, lost place over 3f out, eased over 1f out, last of 8, dist behind Miss Tiger Lily (11-1) at Haydock 1m 4f hcp (5) gd in Sep.
Weapon Of Choice (IRE) 11-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, 2nd before 2 out, pressing winner last, stayed on, no impression towards finish, 2nd of 8, 4l behind Claude Carter (11-0) at Perth 2m (4) gs in Sep.
Levelling 8-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, jumped slowly 3rd, pushed along after 3 out, 3 lengths 3rd when bad mistake last, rider lost iron and well held by front pair after, 3rd of 6, 8 1/4l behind Rejaah (11-12) at Warwick 2m hcp fll (2) gs in May.
Daydream Island (IRE) 125-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders and keen, soon dropped into mid-division, weakened from 4 out, pulled up before last, at Hexham 2m 4f mdn (5) gd in Oct.
Cool Baranca (GER) 22-1 (10-0) Held up, in rear, headway 3 out, stayed on well after last, never nearer, 3rd of 7, 4 1/2l behind Zara Hope (10-10) at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp (4) gd in Oct.
Sultana Belle (IRE) 20-1 (10-11) Held up, rear division, soon mid-division, weakened before 3 out, 8th of 10, 36 1/2l behind Green Zone (10-10) at Perth 2m 4f hcp (4) sft in Jul.