Following a promising debut at Leicester, STAR IN FLIGHT had no trouble getting off the mark over this C&D last month. He should easily confirm that running with second Maybe I Wont and Donna Elvira also looks held. He gets the nod though Aegean Destiny wasn't disgraced under a penalty at Hereford after winning at Uttoxeter and won't mind the ground. But a bigger danger may be Cry Of Freedom, a Listed winner on the Flat who got off the mark at Huntingdon in November. The second and third have been beaten since, however, and this stiffer test may not be in his favour. Noble Scholar has won a couple of bumpers but this is his first appearance for more than a year.
Cry of Freedom (USA) 4-1 (10-7) Held up towards rear, headway to track leaders 5th, chased leader 2 out, led and hit last, ridden out, won at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov beating Parsnip Pete (10-12) by 1 3/4l, 11 ran.
Star In Flight 11-4fav (11-6) Made all , clear approaching 2 out, easily, won at Catterick 2m mdn hdl (5) gs in Dec beating Maybe I Wont (11-6) by 15l, 16 ran.
Aegean Destiny 7-1 (11-0) Chased leader, wandered approaching 2nd, every chance when went left 2 out, stayed on same pace in 3rd after 2 out, 3rd of 16, 12l behind Tempest River (10-12) at Hereford 2m 1f mrs nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Destiny Blue (IRE) 9-2 (11-6) Towards rear, never dangerous, 10th of 15, 47l behind Ginger Grey (11-6) at Catterick 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Dec.
Fantastic Storm 100-1 (11-6) Always behind, 11th of 15, well behind Ginger Grey (11-6) at Catterick 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Dec.
Hakuna Matata 6-1 (8-12) Raced keenly, held up in last pair, headway over 2f out, ridden to chase leaders over 1f out, kept on same pace, no impression, 6th of 12, 5l behind Tres Coronas (9-12) at Newcastle 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) gs in Jun (flat).
Magic Cat 25-1 (10-9) Held up in touch and keen, headway before 4th, pecked and hampered when held in 5th, unseated rider last, in a race won by Ingleby Spirit (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m mdn hdl (5) gs in Dec, 14 ran.
Maybe I Wont 28-1 (11-6) Towards rear, headway under pressure after 3 out, effort next, no chance with winner, 2nd of 16, 15l behind Star In Flight (11-6) at Catterick 2m mdn hdl (5) gs in Dec.
Mitchell's Way 10-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, led over 4f out, headed over 3f out, soon weakened, 7th of 15, 34l behind Special Catch (11-4) at Catterick 2m NH flat (6) sft in Dec.
Muwalla 100-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, chased leaders 2 out (usual 3 out), soon ridden and one pace, no impression from next, 7th of 13, 19l behind Embsay Crag (10-12) at Wetherby 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Noble Scholar (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, lost touch over 8f out, tailed off, last of 10, well behind The Hollinwell (11-0) at Southwell 2m n h flat (4) std in Dec '10.
Uncle Brit 40-1 (8-9) Mid-division, lost place when not clear run over 3f out, no impression after, 9th of 14, 14l behind Bourne (9-2) at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in May '10 (flat).
Countess Comet (IRE) 15-2 (9-7) Chased leaders, ridden to challenge over 2f out, led near finish, won at Windsor 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Oct beating Flying Power (9-2) by nk, 15 ran (flat).
Donna Elvira 80-1 (10-13) Mid-division, weakened 5th, 9th of 16, well behind Star In Flight (11-6) at Catterick 2m mdn hdl (5) gs in Dec.
Graceful Descent (FR) 6-1 (9-3) Keen tracked leaders until 5f out, weakened 3f out, last of 6, 30l behind Sphinx (8-13) at Ayr 1m 7f hcp (4) hvy in Oct (flat).
Lac A Dancer (IRE) 12-1 (10-10) Soon towards rear, 9th approaching straight, improved to chase leaders from 2f out, no impression and kept on same pace from over 1f out, 4th of 10, 4l behind Champion Boy (10-5) at Curragh 1m 4f ladies hcap in Aug '10 (flat).