Free Zone hasn't won for over two years and isn't running well enough to be considered while Snow Cloud's two victories have been on fast going. RITA'S BOY has only ever won at Southwell but his overall form at a slightly higher grade puts him right in the frame for this and he's given the nod. Keep It Dark is in excellent form and just beat the veteran Singeur at Ripon last time, though there's little between the pair again.
Singeur (IRE) 25-1 (9-1) Held up in mid-division, effort towards near side 2f out, ridden over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 10th of 20, 6 1/4l behind Union Rose (9-4) at York 5f hcp (3) sft in Oct.
Rusty Rocket (IRE) 33-1 (9-5) Held up towards raer, headway far side over 1f out, kept on same pace in 5th inside final furlong, 5th of 16, 4 1/2l behind Waseem Faris (9-6) at Nottingham 5f hcp (4) gs in Oct.
Avon Breeze 9-1 (9-5) Raced stand side, dwelt, behind, headway 2f out, chased leaders approaching final furlong, never able to challenge, 5th of 11, 2 3/4l behind Keep It Dark (8-10) at Ripon 5f hcp (4) gd in Sep.
Free Zone 16-1 (9-4) Raced alone on near side rail, never bettter than mid-division, 13th of 16, 8 1/2l behind Waseem Faris (9-6) at Nottingham 5f hcp (4) gs in Oct.
Foxtrot Knight 9-1 (9-3) Raced stand side, midfield, under pressure over 2f out, soon lost place, 9th of 11, 5 3/4l behind Keep It Dark (8-10) at Ripon 5f hcp (4) gd in Sep.
Snow Cloud (IRE) 11-1 (9-1) Chased leaders, effort over 2f out, kept on same pace approaching final furlong, 4th of 9, 3 3/4l behind Spiraea (8-10) at Pontefract 6f hcp fll (3) gd in Sep.
Macdillon 40-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, lost place 2f out, 9th of 14, 5 1/4l behind Little Palaver (9-5) at Salisbury 6f hcp (4) gs in Sep.
Keep It Dark 9-2fav (8-10) Raced stand side, tracked leader, every chance well over 1f out, led approaching final furlong, stayed on strongly, won at Ripon 5f hcp (4) gd in Sep beating Singeur (9-5) by nk, 11 ran.
Searchlight 50-1 (9-3) Towards rear centre, ridden over 1f out, kept on and no extra, 14th of 24, 6 3/4l behind Compton Heights (9-2) at Ayr 5f hcp (4) gd in Sep.
Flying Bear (IRE) 33-1 (9-7) Awkwardly away and switched right start, held up towards rear, headway on inside over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 11, 4 3/4l behind Elis Eliz (9-3) at Kempton 6f hcp (4) pol in Oct.
One Boy (IRE) 33-1 (9-0) Mid-division centre, ridden inside final furlong, one pace, 8th of 24, 5l behind Compton Heights (9-2) at Ayr 5f hcp (4) gd in Sep.
Hoofalong 17-2 (9-4) Raced wide in touch, weakened 2f out, 11th of 13, 5l behind Stocking (9-6) at Wolverhampton 5f hcp (4) pol in Oct.
Even Stevens 5-1fav (9-10) With leaders, lost place well over 1f out, last of 10, 10 1/4l behind Busy Bimbo (8-8) at Catterick 5f hcp (5) gs in Aug.
Rita's Boy (IRE) 66-1 (9-2) Chased leaders centre, ridden inside final furlong, no extra, 5th of 24, 3 1/4l behind Compton Heights (9-2) at Ayr 5f hcp (4) gd in Sep.
Lover Man (IRE) 8-1 (9-10) Tracked winner, ridden and every chance over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, last of 5, 10l behind In Focus (9-2) at Carlisle 7f hcp (4) gs in Sep.