MINELLA THEATRE never got competitive when sixth in a handicap at Wincanton last month but that form still looks the best on offer here and the 10-year-old, once a very decent chaser, has travelled a long way for this. Nevertika doesn't look the force of old and needs to step up on recent efforts while Border Tale is also a light of former days but Amir Pasha was third over track and trip last time and knows his way around here, though faces a stiff task at the weights. Akarshan won twice over fences last season but hasn't raced since April and the four-year-old Red Seal disappointed last time.
Amir Pasha (UAE) 10-1 (10-3) Held up, headway 3 out, stayed on from next, 3rd of 7, 13l behind Fine Kingdom (10-8) at Catterick 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy in Jan.
Akarshan (IRE) 7-2 (10-6) Led, hit 9th, pressed 3 out, ridden and headed before 2 out, soon weakened, last of 3, 22l behind Lord Redsgirth (10-8) at Perth 2m 4f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Apr.
Border Tale 22-1 (10-6) Mid-division, weakened 3 out, 10th of 17, 22l behind Flora's Pride (11-4) at Catterick 2m 3f am hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.
Minella Theatre (IRE) 8-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear on outside, mistake 7th, ridden and effort after 3 out, no impression next, 6th of 13, 21l behind Master Of The Sea (11-3) at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Jan.
Nevertika (FR) 50-1 (11-2) Led in start, behind, headway into mid-division on outside 5th, weakened before 3 out, 12th of 15, 41l behind Home Run (11-11) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) sft in Jan.
Phar Away Island (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Pressed leader, driven and lost place approaching 3 out, weakened next, 10th of 11, well behind Lord Wishes (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gs in Dec.
Red Seal 40-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, ridden and lost place after 4th, soon behind, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Hidden Justice (11-0) at Wetherby 2m 3yo hdl (4) hvy in Dec, 11 ran.