Maypole Class and Prudhomme are both also engaged at Ascot and the former in particular would have a chance wherever he turns up. A winner on heavy ground at Lingfield, he only just failed to hold off Sir Ivan over the course and distance last month and the winner runs earlier. The aptly-named STORM ARISING has had four of his last five starts around here and ran very well when runner-up in a Class 2 handicap on Boxing Day so is an obvious contender and gets the nod. The front-running Midnight Midge has really found his form, making all for a comfortable victory here in November to complete a double though the ground is an unknown factor, as it is for top-weight Larkbarrow Lad.
Larkbarrow Lad 8-1 (11-8) Mid-division on outside, mistake 5th, weakened after 3 out,, 5th of 13, 15l behind Burrows Edge (11-4) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp lst (1) gs in Jan.
West To The Bridge (IRE) 40-1 (10-9) Raced keenly, led, jumped slowly 1st, went clear after 4th, came back to the field before 3 out, headed before 2 out, hit 2 out, weakened between last 2, 7th of 17, 18 1/4l behind Limited Reserve (10-3) at Sandown 2m 7f hcp (1) hvy in Feb.
Storm Arising (IRE) 5-2jfav (10-10) Tracked leader, led narrowly after 3 out, ridden between last 2, headed narrowly last, kept on flat, 3rd and held near finish, 3rd of 8, 2l behind Third Wind (11-3) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp (2) hvy in Dec.
Kuiper Belt (USA) 150-1 (11-12) Towards rear, pushed along after 3 out, soon weakened, 10th of 11, dist behind Espoir De Romay (12-0) at Wincanton 2m 4f hcp (3) sft in Jan.
Hygrove Percy 7-1 (11-9) Prominent, outpaced after 3 out, kept on from last, 4th of 11, 9 3/4l behind Espoir De Romay (12-0) at Wincanton 2m 4f hcp (3) sft in Jan.
Buckhorn George 4-1 (11-4) Mid-division, behind and struggling before 4 out, pulled up before next, at Exeter 2m 3f mdn (4) sft in Jan.
Maypole Class (IRE) 9-2 (11-1) Held up in mid-division, not fluent 3rd, headway 9th, went 2nd before jumping left 2 out, led approaching last, hit hurdle and headed, held flat, 2nd of 11, 3/4l behind Sir Ivan (11-12) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp (3) sft in Jan.
Prudhomme (FR) 5-1 (11-0) Towards rear, headway before 4 out, in 4th place before 2 out, kept on same pace, 5th of 11, 9l behind Earth Moor (10-6) at Taunton 2m 3f hcp (3) sft in Jan.
Vinnie Dev (IRE) 33-1 (10-11) Always towards rear, never on terms, 7th of 13, 21 3/4l behind Burrows Edge (11-4) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp lst (1) gs in Jan.
Roseriver Has (FR) 33-1 (8-4) Pushed along briefly early, mid-division, 8th approaching halfway, pushed along again under 4f out, weakened 2f out, last of 17, dist behind Melburnian (8-5) at Leopardstown 1m 4f hcp Soft - Heavy in Oct.
Midnight Midge 9-2 (10-10) Led 2nd, made rest, hard driven after 2 out, stayed on well, won at Wincanton 2m 4f hcp (3) gs in Nov beating Myplaceatmidnight (11-12) by 3l, 13 ran.
Midnightreferendum 20-1 (10-12) Mid-division, headway when not clear run and switched left before last, went 3rd flat, stayed on, no impression, 3rd of 16, 9 1/2l behind Dame De Compagnie (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hcp (2) sft in Dec.
Demon Fou (FR) 12-1 (10-0) Raced keenly, held up in 4th, driven to chase leaders before 2 out, ridden between last 2, kept on same pace, well held in 4th when edged left flat, 4th of 8, 10l behind Third Wind (11-3) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp (2) hvy in Dec.