STRAIDNAHANNA needs to rediscover his best but has plenty in his favour today, not least the good current form of his yard - he’s only 2lb higher than when last successful. Takingrisks has been eased in the weights, despite having run well in a higher grade the last twice, so shouldn’t be far away while Ascot De Bruyere got back to winning ways over track and trip earlier this month. Theligny is unexposed over the larger obstacles and Conna Cross has shaped nicely in both starts since returning from a break and is another who has travelled a long way for this. Rock On Fruity pounced late to score here last month but is 9lb higher now and meets the selection on worse terms than when behind him at Catterick earlier.
Rock On Fruity (IRE) 40-1 (11-12) Behind, mistakes 7th and 9th, headway 4 out, every chance when mistake 2 out, led last, stayed on well, won at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp (3) sft in Dec beating Gold Opera (11-12) by 5l, 8 ran.
Theligny (FR) 12-1 (11-8) Chased leader until 3rd, chased leaders, pushed along before 4 out, weakened soon after, 6th of 11, 17 3/4l behind Chosen Path (11-7) at Newbury 2m 7f hcp (3) sft in Dec.
Straidnahanna (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Pressed leader, driven after 4 out, lost place before next, soon ridden, no chance with clear pair before 2 out, 3rd of 5, dist behind O O Seven (11-12) at Doncaster 3m hcp (2) gd in Dec.
Solighoster (FR) 50-1 (10-2) Held up in rear, steady headway chasing leaders before 4 out, 4th and one pace before next, 4th of 12, 15 1/2l behind Valtor (11-3) at Ascot 3m hcp lst (1) sft in Dec.
Takingrisks (IRE) 5-1 (10-9) Mid-division, lost place after 10th, effort 15th, no impression before 4 out, plugged on from 2 out to take modest 3rd close home, 3rd of 8, 11l behind Lake View Lad (11-10) at Wetherby 3m hcp (1) gs in Dec.
Conna Cross (IRE) 14-1 (12-0) Prominent, ridden 4 out, stayed on same pace from 3 ou, 4th of 11, 7 3/4l behind The Kings Writ (11-11) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp (3) hvy in Dec.
Western Jo (IRE) 20-1 (11-3) Led until after 5th, pressed leader, led again 8th until 10th, chased leaders, 2nd again after 4 out, pushed along and no chance with winner next, lost 2nd last 100 yards, 3rd of 6, 6 3/4l behind Sharp Response (11-12) at Catterick 3m 6f hcp (3) gd in Jan.
Bigirononhiship (IRE) 4-1 (11-13) Tracked leaders, hit 10th, close up and every chance when fell 3 out, at Haydock 2m 7f hcp (4) hvy in Dec.
Ascot De Bruyere (FR) 7-4fav (11-2) Made virtually all, clear 2 out, just pushed out flat, won at Newcastle 2m 7f hcp (3) gs in Jan beating Thedrinkymeister (11-12) by 2 3/4l, 6 ran.