Fuse Wire has only found one too good in his last two starts and must have a chance in a moderate opener. Chance Encounter is another for the short-list but Pod fell when favourite at Taunton last time and Withy Mills reverted to type at Fontwell after winning at that track earlier. Connections have had to be patient with SPORTSREPORT but he sluiced through the mud to win with his head in his chest at Lingfield nine days ago and can find the necessary to defy his penalty.
Jackthejourneyman (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Held up in touch, driven to chase leaders 3 out, soon ridden, one pace when not fluent next, weakened last, 5th of 6, 17l behind Dance Floor King (11-4) at Wincanton 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Nov.
Fuse Wire 7-2fav (10-11) Chased leaders, not fluent and lost place 3rd, in touch 2 out (usual 3 out), soon outpaced, stayed on to take 2nd flat, no impression, 2nd of 10, 3l behind Aristocracy (10-10) at Wincanton 2m cond nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gs in Nov.
Sportsreport (IRE) 3-1 (10-10) Tracked leader, led 4 out, clear before 2 out, stayed on strongly, won at Lingfield 2m hcp 0-100 (5) hvy in Nov beating Little Jimmy (10-11) by 8l, 5 ran.
Chance Encounter (IRE) 4-1 (10-1) Tracked leaders, hampered 5th, outpaced when left 4th 4 out, ridden next, stayed on to take modest 3rd 2 out, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 6, 17l behind Trickaway (11-11) at Wincanton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gs in Nov.
Pod 9-4fav (10-9) In lead when fell 9th, in a race won by Captain Knock (10-11) at Taunton 2m 3f hcp 0-100 (5) fm in Oct, 9 ran.
Tresor De La Vie (FR) 4-1 (10-10) Tracked leaders on outside, not that fluent, lost place 2nd, in rear from 4th, mistake 8th, well behind after, pulled up before last, in a race won by Try Catch Me (11-4) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp 0-100 (5) gd in Sep, 7 ran.
Withy Mills 6-1 (10-0) Led until approaching 4 out, lost 2nd before next, soon weakened, 5th of 7, 11l behind Somchine (11-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f nov hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy in Nov.
Moonlight Maggie 9-2 (10-11) Took keen hold, held up in last pair, headway 4th, mistake 7th, 3rd at 8th, 2nd before 10th, ridden and lost 2nd after 4 out, chased leading pair, weakened before 3 out, lost poor 3rd close home, 4th of 6, well behind No Through Road (12-5) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Nov.
Beauchamp Viking 11-2 (10-7) Tracked leaders, went 3rd 4 out, weakened before 2 out, 5th of 6, 39l behind Grand Article (10-13) at Towcester 2m am hcp chs 0-100 (5) sft in Nov.