The Ian Williams-trained Mutadarrej showed much improved form when running out the comfortable winner of a staying handicap over course and distance last week and he has an obvious chance off just a 3lb higher mark today but is unlikely to represent much in the way of value and it may be worth siding with JOSEPHINE MALINES, who gets the vote with the main danger away from Mutadarrej rated as The Composer. Michael Blanshard's gelding showed improved form for the return to the flat from a spell hurdling and chasing when finding Perception just a head too good over course and distance recently and he has to be respected despite a 2lb rise since then. Tony Carroll's Iron Man of Mersey has given little sign of encouragement in recent outings over hurdles and of more interest may be stable companion Le Corvee, who was a good winner at Stratford last month but has yet to confirm that he stays this far on the level. Nation State has a lot to find with Mutadarrej on running here last time and a better bet may be Josephine Malines. The daughter of Inchinor makes her debut for Tim Vaughan today having formerly been with Richard Guest and may be worth chancing given her handler's record with runners from other stables.
Nation State 14-1 (9-7) Led 1f, tracked leader 5f, stayed well there, pushed along 5f out, weakened over 3f out, tailed off, 7th of 8, well behind Perception (9-7) at Bath 2m 1f hcp 0-65 (6) fm in Jul.
Mutadarrej (IRE) 2-1 (7-9) Held up in 5th, rapid headway on inside to 2nd 6f out until over 4f out, challenged 3f out, led and hung badly right to stand side 2f out, easily, won at Bath 2m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) fm in Jul beating Perception (9-0) by 6l, 5 ran.
Le Corvee (IRE) 11-2 (8-10) Tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, chased winner well over 1f out, no impression, kept on same pace, 2nd of 15, 6l behind Clare Glen (9-12) at Chepstow 1m 4f hcp 0-65 (6) gs in Jul.
Josephine Malines 7-2fav (8-11) Mid-division, headway and not much room over 1f out, soon switched right, stayed on well to take 3rd inside final furlong, nearest at finish, 3rd of 13, 6l behind Lordship (8-6) at Ayr 1m app hcp 0-60 (6) sft in Aug '09.
The Composer 20-1 (8-2) Held up in touch, headway on wide outside over 3f out, stayed on to dispute lead over 1f out, headed last strides, 2nd of 8, hd behind Perception (9-7) at Bath 2m 1f hcp 0-65 (6) fm in Jul.
Iron Man of Mersey (FR) 33-1 (8-1) In touch when hampered on inside after 1f, mid-division after, weakened over 2f out, 9th of 14, 19l behind Very Well Red (9-0) at Nottingham 1m hcp 0-65 (6) sft in Apr.