AP McCoy wouldn't be a regular rider for the Easterby camp so his presence on DEEPSAND is significant. A consistent handicapper on the Flat, his two runs over timber to date, especially his latest when runner-up to the odds-on Hidden Justice at Catterick, suggest he's well up to winning a race of this nature and can give the champ a winning start to the day. Hallmark Star was a long way behind Hidden Justice at Wetherby in December but showed massive improvement when runner-up to Veloce over this course and distance last month and should have no problems finding a race soon. Welsh Bard finished in front of Hallmark Star at Wetherby but didn't appear suited by front-running at Lingfield later and should be capable of better. Bishops Gate has shown potential in point-to-points but has a very long absence to overcome.
Bishops Gate (IRE) 6-4 (11-7) 2nd of 10, 3l behind Another Grand (10-7) at Brocklesby Park 3m ptp gd in Mar '11.
Elmaatigra 200-1 (11-5) Mid-division, effort approaching 2 out, mistake and weakened last, 9th of 13, 34l behind Duke Of Navan (11-12) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Ewe Are Joking 66-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, lost place halfway, tailed off, 9th of 10, well behind Special Catch (11-12) at Catterick 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Jovial (IRE) 100-1 (11-1) Held up and behind, mistake 2nd, tailed off 6th, pulled up soon after, in a race won by Ballybogey (11-4) at Ayr 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan, 10 ran.
Deepsand (IRE) 7-2 (10-12) Held up mid-division, tracked leaders 3 out, every chance 2 out, ridden before last, kept on and no impression on winner, 2nd of 9, 5l behind Hidden Justice (11-5) at Catterick 2m 4yo hdl (4) sft.
Hallmark Star 11-1 (10-7) Led, hit 1st and 4th, not fluent 6th, headed approaching 2 out, chased winner, ridden and every chance last, stayed on same pace flat, 2nd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Veloce (11-4) at Ayr 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Unex Canaletto 50-1 (9-11) Took keen hold, held up towards rear, mistake 3rd, behind 5th, plugging on same pace but no chance when left modest 5th and slightly hampered last, 5th of 11, 20l behind Veloce (11-4) at Ayr 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Wayne Manor (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) In rear, pushed along after 3rd, soon behind, tailed off, 6th of 7, well behind Sametegal (11-8) at Musselburgh 2m 4yo hdl (2) gs.
Welsh Bard (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Led, pushed along approaching 3 out, ridden and headed before 2 out, dropped to 3rd soon after, one pace and beaten when hit last, 3rd of 6, 23l behind Chris Pea Green (10-9) at Lingfield 2m 4yo mdn hdl (5) hvy in Jan.