A competitive start to proceedings with ZANZA looking to defy a penalty picked up for running away with a lesser contest at Chepstow. He sets the standard though there is probably more to come from Bangor fifth Phoenix Way and Hold The Note boasts decent bumper form. Gleno and Baddesley Knight have also won bumpers and the latter made a very encouraging start over timber when fourth at Newbury. Jammy George was second to a subsequent winner at Chepstow while I Can't Explain won a maiden point last year in Ireland and is now with the champion trainer. Greaneteen is having a first run for Paul Nicholls but looked useful making his debut in France last year and shouldn’t fail through lack of fitness.
Zanza (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Keen in touch, headway 3 out, challenging when left in lead 2 out, drew clear last, easily, won at Chepstow 2m (4) sft in Nov beating Vards (10-12) by 12l, 12 ran.
Baddesley Knight (IRE) 9-2 (10-12) Chased leaders, led before 3rd, hit 2 out, went left mistake and headed last, no extra run-i, 4th of 16, 3 1/2l behind Ecu De La Noverie (10-12) at Newbury 2m (4) gs in Nov.
Chain Smoker 4-1 (12-2) Mid-div, prog in 4th aftr 4out, btn up in 3rd aftr 3out, mstk 2out, 3rd aftr 2out & slw last, drpd 4th flat, 4th of 10, 27l behind Alfie Corbitt (12-2) at Bartlemy 3m mdn sft in May.
Cracker Jak (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, ridden and no impression on from 4th from over 2f out, 5th of 11, 10 1/2l behind The Raven's Return (10-12) at Sandown 2m (4) hvy in Nov.
Gleno (IRE) 7-4 (11-2) Tracked leader, ridden over 2f out, led over 1f out, kept on well, won at Ayr 2m (5) hvy in Mar beating Precious Cargo (11-9) by 9l, 3 ran.
Greaneteen (FR) (10-5) 3rd of 15, 4 1/4l behind Beau Gosse (10-5) at Clairefontaine 2m 1f hvy in Jul.
Hold The Note (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders on outside, effort turning in, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace, held when lost 3rd towards finish, 4th of 9, 2 3/4l behind Master Debonair (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m lst (1) gd in Nov.
I Can't Explain (IRE) 5-1 (11-11) Pr, 3rd 1/2way, ld from 2out, quickened when chall bef last, ko strongly on run-in, easily, won at Rathcannon 3m mdn hvy in Oct beating Different Spot (11-11) by 12l, 8 ran.
Jammy George (IRE) 20-1 (11-5) Led, not fluent 4th, clear briefly on last bend, slow 3 out, headed next, no impression on winner flat, just held onto 2nd, 2nd of 16, 5l behind The Big Bite (11-5) at Chepstow 2m mdn (4) gs in Nov.
Phoenix Way (IRE) 11-10fav (11-0) Pulled hard towards rear, closed 3 out, effort next, soon ridden and found little, kept on same pace, 5th of 13, 6 1/2l behind The Some Dance Kid (11-0) at Bangor 2m 1f mdn (5) gs in Nov.