PISTOLET NOIR can take the opener while George Nympton and Good Lord are perhaps the most interesting in opposition. The selection looked like a top class recruit to the game when staying on strongly for a nine length win over course and distance at the Open Meeting and today's soft ground looks ideal for him. That is easily the strongest piece of form on offer here and with continued improvement likely we will side with the Paul Nicholls-trained runner. Named after a village near Nick Williams' yard, George Nympton is another who enjoys getting his toe in and given that his trainer tends to bring his inmates on a little more streadily than the champion trainer it is a fair bet that there is also a significant amount more to come from his four-year-old. He can get heavily involved. Good Lord is sent on a raid from France and acts with cut, though it is hard to evaluate his true worth in the contest given that he was well beaten on testing ground at Newbury on his only other British start. A market check is advised to assess confidence. Reaction is not guaranteed to stay here and Invertissement can prove best of the debutants, though the win can go to Pistolet Noir.
Pistolet Noir (FR) 7-2 (10-12) Chased leaders, went 2nd soon after 4 out, led approaching last, taken right and stayed on strongly run-in, driven out, won at Cheltenham 2m juv nov hdl Grd 2 (1) sft in Nov beating Barizan (11-6) by 9l, 8 ran.
Blazing Buck 7-2 (11-2) Chased winner, every chance 2 out, about 1 length down and jumped left last, hard ridden and weakened run in, 3rd of 7, 3l behind Riptide (11-0) at Ffos Las 2m 3yo nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Baccalaureate (FR) 14-1 (10-12) Mid-division, some progress after 3 out, soon ridden, beaten before next, tailed off, 6th of 9, 50l behind Mille Chief (10-12) at Kempton 2m 3yo nov hdl (3) gs in Dec.
George Nympton (IRE) 8-1 (11-0) Chased leading pair, hit 4 out, stayed on to challenge and every chance last, kept on to chase winner run-in, but no real impression, 2nd of 11, 2 3/4l behind Olofi (11-3) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 3yo nov hdl (2) sft in Dec.
Good Lord (FR) 5-4fav (10-12) Hampered 1st, towards rear, hit 4 out, headway to chase leaders soon after, ridden and weakened quickly after 3 out, 7th of 12, well behind Advisor (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3yo nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
History Lesson 15-8fav (10-12) In rear of main group, mistake 2nd, ridden, weakened 3 out, 5th of 7, 49l behind Rougham (10-12) at Wincanton 2m 3yo nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Investissement (9-2) 9th of 14, 5l behind Telluride (9-2) at Deauville(FR) 1m 4f lst stk gd in Oct (flat).
Reaction 12-1 (9-2) Chased leaders 6f, 9th of 12, 16l behind Sham Sheer (9-4) at Kempton 1m 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Oct (flat).