A decent contest for us here where MOUNT BENGER gets the nod ahead of Argento Luna and Motive. Jim Best's runner makes the lengthy trip up from the south coast to try and complete a four-timer today and there are reasons to believe that he will. Ground on the slow side of good suits, the yard remains in good form, and the manner with which he despatched the opposition last time out suggested that coping with such a massive hike in the weights is not beyond him. Rhys Flint takes off a very useful 7lbs of that 23lbs burden and we will stick with the horse-in-form. Argento Luna is open to improvement after just three starts over hurdles, all of which have seen him finish in the first two. This ground suits and in his case a 3lb rise looks fair, so he could present the big danger. Motive is another to note. Howard Johnson's charge was a fast ground Wetherby winner last May and should strip fitter for a Musselburgh pipe opener last month. He could go very well, although there are going concerns for him. Quick Will is another who could progress and he has a good strike rate of two wins from seven starts under rules. Trip and ground should suit and he too had a recent pipe opener, so could get heavily involved here. Pay Attention looks to be coming right and trip and ground are fine for her, so check out the market for a guide to her chance, but we prefer the claims of Mount Benger.
Mount Benger 3-1fav (11-7) Always prominent in chasing group, went 2nd going well 3 out, led on bit between last 2, soon well clear, canter, won at Folkestone 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gs beating Rosoff (11-8) by 20l, 15 ran.
Lazy Darren 10-1 (11-6) Mid-division, headway to chase leaders ater 3 out, weakened soon after 2 out, 7th of 15, 5l behind Ingratitude (11-9) at Kempton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Dec.
McGruders Cross (IRE) 12-1 (11-8) Tracked leader, ridden and every chance approaching last, weakened, 12th of 17, 20l behind Culcabock (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Dec.
Pay Attention 8-1 (11-7) Held up, outpaced 4 out, switched left and headway after next, left 2nd when hampered 2 out, soon ridden, kept on and every chance flat, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Pagan Starprincess (11-5) at Newcastle 2m hcp hdl 0-.
Sharp Rigging (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Mid-division, jumped left 4th, mistake and fell at the 6th in race won by Master Medic (11-5) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs 0-140 (2) gs in Dec, 13 ran.
Robin De Sherwood (FR) 14-1 (11-5) Held up, in touch when fell 5 out in race won by Ellerslie George (11-9) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec, 9 ran.
Pertemps Networks 8-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, ridden to chase winner 3 out, one pace, 3rd of 11, 6l behind Khachaturian (10-5) at Uttoxeter 2m nov hcp hdl (2) gd in Mar.
Quick Will (FR) 25-1 (10-4) Mid-division, tracked leaders approaching 4 out, ridden next, every chance last, not pace of winner run-in, 2nd of 9, 2 1/2l behind Folk Tune (10-9) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Dec.
Risk Runner (IRE) 12-1 (11-2) In rear, ridden 7th, effort approaching 2 out, soon weakened, 8th of 18, 27l behind Issaquah (9-7) at Kelso 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Nov.
King Daniel 25-1 (11-4) Held up mid-division, weakened after 5 out, 12th of 14, well behind Medicinal (11-5) at Haydock 2m hcp chs 0-140 (2) gs in Nov.
Argento Luna 7-2 (11-2) Held up, headway 3 out, effort last, stayed on flat, not reach winner, 2nd of 13, 3 1/2l behind Oldrik (10-8) at Huntingdon 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Dec.
Motive (FR) 11-1 (11-10) Tracked clear leader from 3rd, hit 7th, ridden and weakened from 8th, 11th of 15, well behind Viper (11-5) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gf in Dec.
Front Rank (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, ridden approaching 3 out, no impression, 6th of 18, 18l behind Issaquah (9-7) at Kelso 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Nov.
Flake 50-1 (10-3) Always behind, 10th of 11, well behind Malko De Beaumont (10-2) at Haydock 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Dec.
Borouj (IRE) 14-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, progress into 4th 4 out, ridden and weakened from next, 14th of 20, well behind Rebel Run (11-5) at Cork 2m hcp hdl 0-102 sft in Oct.
Greenbelt 16-1 (11-7) In rear, headway 3 out, driven and one pace from next, 4th of 16, 9l behind Bedizen (11-2) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Dec.
Newman Des Plages (FR) 33-1 (11-8) Held up, lost place 10th, soon struggling, tailed off 4 out, 6th of 8, 48l behind Jass (10-5) at Ayr 3m 1f hcp chs (2) sft.