It's two years since Royale Charter last ran over hurdles and he may not have the speed for this now. Highway Code has also been chasing while Multitude Of Sins' victory at Newton Abbot in September hasn't worked out. Chemistry Master wasn't beaten far at Wincanton but this is a better race and he's not really proven on the soft. Minella Friend's run in the opener should be a pointer to the chances of Horizontal Speed and the recent course and distance winner is still improving but we're inclined to take a chance on top weight WATERUNDER. He's very much at home in this grade and a drop in distance is compensated by the soft going. Quaddick Lake is starting to come down the weights again but possibly lacks the scope of some of his younger rivals.
Waterunder (IRE) 9-2 (11-12) Always towards rear, 6th of 7, 20l behind Rum And Butter (10-3) at Newton Abbot 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf in Jul.
Quaddick Lake (IRE) 20-1 (10-5) Held up, headway on outside after 7th, chased leaders before 4 out, weakened before next, beaten when mistake next, 6th of 11, 12l behind Shammick Boy (10-13) at Chepstow 2m 4f hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Oct.
Horizontal Speed (IRE) Evensfav (10-12) Tracked leaders, went 2nd before 3 out, led and hit 2 out, ridden between last 2, driven out, won at Exeter 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Oct beating Minella Friend (10-12) by 3/4l, 15 ran.
Royale's Charter 2-1fav (11-12) Led, headed approaching 5th, hit 8th, ridden before 4 out, led narrowly flat, headed towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Spock (10-4) at Worcester 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Sep.
Chemistry Master 8-1 (11-2) Took keen hold, raced wide chasing leaders, went 2nd briefly before 2 out, every chance 2 out, ridden and one pace in 3rd between last 2, 3rd of 10, 2 1/2l behind Theatrelands (10-12) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Oct.
Multitude Of Sins 5-1 (11-5) Chased leaders, not fluent 2nd, mistakes 4th and 5th, lost place after 3 out, well beaten and not keen before 2 out, last of 6, 38l behind Alwaystheoptimist (10-4) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Oct.
Highway Code (USA) 5-1 (11-2) Held up in last, not always fluent, headway after 14th, went 2nd 4 out, every chance next, ridden 2 out, lost 2nd and beaten last, no extra final 100 yards, 3rd of 5, 9l behind Whistling Senator (10-2) at Worcester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd in Aug.
Train Of Thought (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Always towards rear, pushed along and struggling before 3 out (normal 4 out), tailed off, 10th of 12, well behind Hidden Identity (10-9) at Chepstow 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Oct.
Dark And Dangerous (IRE) 4-1 (11-6) Led, headed over 3f out soon weakened, 7th of 8, 28l behind Waterunder (11-12) at Ffos Las 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in May.
Dragon's Den (IRE) 20-1 (10-0) Held up in rear, no impression 3 out, some headway and 9th before last, stayed on flat, never in contention, 7th of 15, 20l behind Thomas Crapper (10-9) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs in Oct.