DISTANT APPLAUSE has improved for wind surgery and won over 6f at Chelmsford in December. He’s worth another try over today’s longer trip with a tongue-tie added today and is preferred to Secret Lightning. The latter has been off the track since finishing second over 1m2f in May last year and Dark Confidant makes more appeal back over 7f as he slides further down the weights. Brother In Arms has been thereabouts over 6f recently though one win in 23 attempts fails to boost confidence in his chances.
Frozen Lake (USA) 25-1 (9-6) Held up towards rear, pushed along halfway, never on terms, last of 10, 9l behind Grey Destiny (9-5) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp (6) pol in Jan.
Lord Cooper 4-1 (8-13) Held up and behind, ridden and headway on outside just over 1f out, never troubled leaders, 6th of 11, 3 3/4l behind Aguerooo (9-8) at Lingfield 6f hcp (6) pol in Jan.
Secret Lightning (FR) 25-1 (8-13) Raced wide soon led, ridden 2f out, headed inside final furlong, kept on, 2nd of 9, 1l behind Sempre Presto (8-11) at Pontefract 1m 2f hcp fll (5) gd in May.
Aljunood (IRE) 14-1 (9-3) Awkward start, always towards rear, 9th of 12, 7 1/4l behind Arrowzone (9-6) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp (6) pol in Jan.
Caledonia Laird 10-1 (9-4) Held up, ridden over 1f out, never dangerous, 7th of 11, 6 3/4l behind Amor Fati (8-9) at Chelmsford City 7f hcp (6) pol in Jan.
Purbeck Gem 50-1 (8-11) Chased leader until over 3f out, stayed on one pace final 2f, 4th of 7, 7 1/4l behind Dawn Delight (8-11) at Newcastle 6f stks (5) pol in Jan.
Dark Confidant (IRE) 5-1 (9-3) Mid-division, headway over 3f out, challenged over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on and every chance inside final furlong, no extra towards finish, 4th of 14, 2 3/4l behind Mossy's Lodge (9-2) at Newcastle 1m hcp (7) pol in Nov.
Brother In Arms (IRE) 14-1 (9-4) Held up in rear, ridden on outside over 1f out, ran on, went 4th towards finish, 4th of 10, 1 1/2l behind Elliot The Dragon (9-2) at Kempton 6f hcp (7) pol in Jan.
Canimar 12-1 (9-3) Led, headed over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 5th of 12, 9l behind Lion Hearted (9-2) at Chelmsford City 7f hcp (7) pol in Jan.
Captain Marmalade (IRE) 200-1 (11-5) Off the pace in mid-division, lost place 4th, towards rear and struggling next, tailed off, 7th of 12, dist behind Khage (11-5) at Taunton 2m mdn (4) gd in Jan.
Play With Me 150-1 (8-11) Raced wide in rear, ridden 4f out, never on terms, 6th of 10, 10 1/2l behind Captain Dan (9-2) at Wolverhampton 7f stks (6) pol in Dec.
Distant Applause (IRE) 4-1 (9-2) Prominent, ridden inside final furlong, no extra, 5th of 11, 2 3/4l behind At Your Service (9-5) at Chelmsford City 6f hcp (6) pol in Jan.