CUSP is the only distance winner in the field and gets our vote, ahead of Sea Saffron and Miss Midnight. Alison Thorpe's mare was a fortunate winner over this trip and on soft ground last time out last month, following a lengthy break. Don't expect anything like the big double price she was that day, when she looked beaten only for the leader to fall at the last. It was her first win over fences in four years, and may prove to be a one off. However, there's not a great deal here to beat. Sea Saffron has been off the track since May, and is local trainer Jimmy Frost's only runner on the card. He's relatively unexposed, with this just his seventh outing, and son Hadden claims a handy three pounds. Miss Midnight also benefits from a claimer on board. Recently running here in chases, a return to hurdling may bring reward. However in a race that looks to raise more questions than it supplies answers, we'll side with Cusp.
Chuquicamata 20-1 (11-11) Mid-division, ridden 3 out, soon weakened, 15th of 21, well behind Wun Chai (11-4) at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gd in Mar '08.
Miss Midnight 7-1 (11-1) Mid-division, headway 6th, ridden and mistake 4 out, soon weakened, 4th of 9, 33l behind Shake The Barley (11-10) at Taunton 2m nov hcp chs 0-100 (4) gs in Feb.
Talikos (FR) 12-1 (12-0) (ts) a bhnd, 6th of 10, 45l behind Winter Scene (12-1) at Upcott Cross 3m ptp gd in May.
Sea Saffron 13-2 (11-4) Mid-division, ridden, headway after 13th, stayed on same pace from next, went 2nd near finish, no chance with winner, 2nd of 15, 17l behind Extra Bold (10-11) at Exeter 2m 7f nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) gf in May.
Cusp 25-1 (11-2) Mid-division, headway after 5th, went 2nd before 3 out, 20 lengths adrift when left in lead last, stayed on, won at Hereford 2m 3f hcp chs 0-90 (5) gs in Feb beating Phoenix Eye (11-7) by 5l, 15 ran.
Red Jester 8-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, driven 6th, weakened 4 out, 9th of 14, well behind Conny Nobel (10-5) at Chepstow 2m hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Feb.
Kirbys Glen (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) Held up, jumped right when lost touch 5 out, 7th of 11, well behind Aheadofhistime (11-7) at Chepstow 2m cnd hcp chs (5) hvy in Jan.
Lady Malousa 33-1 (11-6) Mid-division, headway 7th, ridden and weakened after 10th, 9th of 15, 35l behind Cusp (11-2) at Hereford 2m 3f hcp chs 0-90 (5) gs in Feb.
Roseville (IRE) 25-1 (9-11) Prominent, ridden approaching 4 out, weakened 3 out, 5th of 9, 34l behind Shake The Barley (11-10) at Taunton 2m nov hcp chs 0-100 (4) gs in Feb.