Dubai Angel finished runner-up in three bumpers before facing soft ground for the first time and winning a similar race in a canter at Carlisle. It's difficult to know what he beat but he couldn't have been more impressive. ELGIN landed a Haydock bumper in March and was returning after a long absence when runner-up in a similar contest at Aintree behind a well regarded winner so he looks the one to be on. Knocklayde took advantage of very heavy conditions when landing a Hexham bumper in April so further rain would aid his cause while successful bumper Applaus will have come on for his opening run over timber here where he stayed on after getting outpaced.
Applaus (GER) 16-1 (10-12) Mid-division, headway approaching 3 out, soon chasing leaders, stayed on same pace from 2 out, 4th of 11, 12l behind Sam Spinner (10-12) at Newcastle 2m (4) gs in Nov.
Brackenmoss Rory 40-1 (11-0) Always towards rear, weakened from 3 out, 7th of 16, 33 1/2l behind Kelka (10-7) at Hexham 2m mdn (5) sft in Nov.
Christmas In Usa (FR) 16-1 (10-12) Held up mid-division, headway 7th, weakened from 3 out, 7th of 10, dist behind Another Bill (11-12) at Kelso 2m 7f (4) gs in Nov.
Dragonfli 100-1 (11-0) In rear, pushed along over 3f out, soon outpaced, 4th of 8, dist behind Dubai Angel (11-0) at Carlisle 2m 1f (6) sft in Oct.
Dubai Angel (IRE) 6-4fav (11-0) Tracked leader and keen, led over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, soon clear, won at Carlisle 2m 1f (6) sft in Oct beating Al Shahir (11-0) by 22l, 8 ran.
Elgin 5-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, took keen hold, headway 3f out, went 2nd 2f out, stayed on, no chance with winner, 2nd of 7, 4 1/2l behind Cruiseaweigh (11-0) at Aintree 2m 1f (4) gs in Nov.
Hollins Hill 100-1 (11-0) Always behind, 5th of 7, dist behind Eastview Boy (11-0) at Newcastle 2m (4) hvy in Mar.
Minella Suite (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Mid-division, outpaced over 4f out, soon ridden, never reached leaders, 7th of 15, 30 1/4l behind Loud And Clear (11-7) at Ayr 2m (6) gs in Oct.
Nomoreblackjack (IRE) 10-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, in 3rd, went 2nd from 7th until before 3 out, soon weakened, 4th of 7, 31l behind Some Invitation (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 4f (4) gs in Nov.
Oishin 100-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, went 7th before 2 out, never dangerous, 8th of 16, 35 1/4l behind Kelka (10-7) at Hexham 2m mdn (5) sft in Nov.
Sweet Belle 40-1 (10-12) Held up, weakened 4 out, tailed off, 7th of 11, dist behind Book At Bedtime (10-12) at Newcastle 2m 5f mdn (4) gs in Nov.
Knocklayde (IRE) 11-4 (10-12) Pressed leader, ridden 3f out, led 2f out, clear inside final furlong, stayed on, won at Hexham 2m (6) hvy in Apr beating Shy (10-5) by 4 1/2l, 3 ran.