Modernism's debut fourth behind Totalize at Musselburgh was a sound effort and he'll know more today. Handazan has twice found Far West too strong but won at Aintree on his second start and sets a fair standard, despite the penalty. But there are one or two newcomers in this that could turn out to be useful. Aazif was placed at Newmarket and Haydock on the Flat last year but we just prefer LAST SHADOW. He beat Swynmor, who would have won the Finale Hurdle on Saturday had he not tipped up, over 1m4f at Windsor last July and is reputed to be his stable's Triumph Hurdle hope this year. Little Dutch Girl is another interesting recruit and Nicky Henderson's filly shouldn't be ignored.
Handazan (IRE) 7-2 (11-3) Led, hit 1st, soon headed, tracked leader, left in lead again 3rd, driven 2 out, headed between last 2, soon no chance with winner, 2nd of 3, 19l behind Far West (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 3yo hdl (2) hvy in Dec.
Aazif (IRE) 4-1 (9-7) Led, headed over 10f out, prominent, ridden over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 11, 7l behind Arch Villain (9-3) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Oct (flat).
Calculated Risk 7-4fav (9-5) Held up in rear, ridden over 2f out, headway over 1f out, stayed on final furlong, not reached leaders, 3rd of 9, 2l behind Grand Liaison (9-4) at Salisbury 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-70 (5) hvy in Oct (flat).
Last Shadow 25-1 (9-0) Held up in touch, pushed along over 3f out, ridden and weakened over 1f out, 7th of 9, 5l behind Biographer (9-0) at Ascot 1m 6f Listed stks 3yo (1) sft in Oct (flat).
Luctor Emergo (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) In touch on outside, ridden and outpaced before 2 out, soon beaten, 6th of 11, 34l behind Hidden Justice (11-0) at Wetherby 2m 3yo hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Milord (GER) (8-11) won at Baden-Baden(GER) 1m 1f 3yo stk gd in Oct, 8 ran (flat).
Modernism 9-5 (10-12) Keen early, pressed leader, led after 3rd, headed narrowly before 3 out, ridden and every chance flat, no extra towards finish, 4th of 7, 6l behind Totalize (10-12) at Musselburgh 2m 3yo hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Take Two 14-1 (10-12) Took keen hold, held up in last trio, mistake 4th, outpaced after 4 out, behind when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Counsel (10-12) at Bangor 2m 1f 3yo mdn hdl (4) gs in Nov, 7 ran.
Dorry K (IRE) 22-1 (10-7) Behind, mistake 3rd, struggling when not fluent 5th, 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.
Little Dutch Girl 6-1 (9-3) Tracked leaders, driven to lead 3f out, headed over 1f out, soon hard ridden, faded final furlong, 5th of 11, 3 1/2l behind Require (9-7) at Leicester 1m 4f 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) gs in Oct (flat).
Nurse Dominatrix (IRE) 11-1 (9-2) Tracked leaders, ridden to chase winner 2f out, kept on one pace final furlong, 4th of 10, 5l behind Big Sylv (9-3) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-50 (7) pol in Dec (flat).