Ericht could give a boost to Sandy Beach’s Newbury win earlier on the card. The former’s trainer runs the useful Volnay De Thaix in this while Kruzhlinin won a Grade 3 over the fixed brush hurdles at Haydock last time, though is not as well treated over fences. NO DUFFER won back-to-back races at Haydock and Perth last spring and got back on the winning trail at Doncaster after a pipe-opener. He’s not got much mileage on the clock and can defy a new career-high mark. Our Kaempfer was an early casualty in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby but should be winning soon over the larger obstacles and this sharp track will aid his cause. Chill Factor stays well but this trip is a concern for Abricot De L'oasis.
Volnay De Thaix (FR) 6-1 (11-0) Not always fluent, tracked leaders, outpaced after 3 out, well beaten next, last of 5, 16 1/2l behind Josses Hill (11-6) at Huntingdon 2m 4f (1) gs in Dec.
Kruzhlinin (GER) 9-1 (10-13) Tracked leader, led 2nd, pressed from 3 out, all out, won at Haydock 2m 7f hcp (1) hvy in Nov beating Theo's Charm (10-7) by 2 1/2l, 13 ran.
No Duffer 9-1 (11-10) Tracked leader, with leader 8th, led 9th, headed 11th, mistake 7 out, challenged from 2 out, pressed leader run-in, led post, won at Doncaster 3m hcp (2) gd in Dec beating Long Lunch (10-12) by ns, 11 ran.
Turban (FR) 80-1 (10-11) In rear, mistake 1st, hit 11th, soon tailed off, pulled up before 2 out, at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp (1) sft in Dec.
Our Kaempfer (IRE) 14-1 (10-11) In touch, mistake and unseated rider 3rd, at Wetherby 3m hcp (1) gs in Dec.
Chill Factor (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Held up in rear in touch, headway 10th, dropped to 4th approaching 4 out, regained 3rd before 3 out, went 2nd at the last, effort when hampered on rail and switched right run-in, stayed on to lead close home, won at Fontwell 3m 1f hcp (3) gd in May beating Saint Roque (11-12) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
Silvergrove 12-1 (10-5) Chased leaders, mistake 6th, ridden and struggling 16th, 13th of 22, dist behind Vieux Lion Rouge (10-9) at Aintree 3m 2f hcp (1) gs in Dec.
Sandy Beach 9-1 (11-8) Held up, in touch, in last pair, steady headway tracking leaders approaching 12th, 2nd 12th, led 3 out, soon clear, stayed on strongly, won at Newbury 2m 4f hcp (3) gd in Nov beating Ericht (11-12) by 8l, 6 ran.
Abricot De L'Oasis (FR) 7-2 (11-12) Jumped left at times, led, driven after 3 out, headed last, every chance flat, ran on, just held, 2nd of 7, hd behind Ten Sixty (11-8) at Leicester 2m 4f hcp (3) gd in Dec.
Carloswayback (IRE) 33-1 (11-8) Well in rear, plugging on when slightly hampered 4 out, 5th approaching next, no impression, weakened 2 out, 6th of 14, 13 1/2l behind Morney Wing (11-6) at Plumpton 3m 4f hcp (3) sft in Jan.