Numide and Radetsky March both need to improve on what they've show so far this season, as does Quinte Du Chatelet, while Wings Of Smoke hasn't been seen since finishing fourth at Hexham in June. Ballyquin Queen looks to be on an upward curve, however, and Mercury Bay has yet to finish out of the frame under Rules though is another returning from a break. Mauricetheathlete returned to winning ways over 3m on heavy ground at Chepstow earlier this month and shouldn't be far away. But he looks an out-and-out stayer and may be vulnerable over this shorter trip so the vote goes to BLAZING BUCK. You would go a long way to find a weaker contest than the seller he won at Leicester last month but he does have winning form in better company and that easy victory will have done wonders for his confidence.
Numide (FR) 20-1 (11-10) Held up towards rear, moderate progress before 2 out, never on terms, 10th of 12, 36l behind Pateese (11-5) at Sandown 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Nov.
Radetsky March (IRE) 20-1 (10-11) Held up in 7th off the pace, mistake and ridden 3rd, weakened quickly 4 out, tailed off and pulled up after 3 out, in a race won by King Of The Night (11-12) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) gd in Oct, 10 ran.
Saticon 100-1 (10-5) Mid-division, chased leaders under pressure on inside before 2 out, soon weakened, 15th of 19, well behind Poungach (11-4) at Sandown 2m 6f hcp hdl (2) gs.
Quinte du Chatelet (FR) 14-1 (11-10) Mid-division, effort 5 out, weakened quickly, 10th of 18, well behind Mauricetheathlete (9-13) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) hvy.
Wings Of Smoke (IRE) 9-2 (11-1) Prominent, ridden aqnd every chance before last, weakened last 100 yards, 4th of 11, 7l behind Maska Pony (11-6) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) gd in Jun.
Blazing Buck 2-1fav (11-9) Made all, soon clear, unchallenged, won at Leicester 2m sll hdl (5) gd in Nov beating Another For Joe (10-7) by 49l, 5 ran.
Mauricetheathlete (IRE) 18-1 (9-13) Led after 1st, headed 3rd, led again 6th, strongly challenged 4 out, ridden clear approaching last, stayed on strongly, won at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) hvy beating Monsieur Cadou (10-7) by 7l, 18 ran.
Ballyquin Queen (IRE) 9-1 (10-10) Led, hit 2nd, headed soon after bypassing 2 out, hung left on long run to last, mistake and lost 2nd last, weakened flat, 3rd of 10, 14l behind Kentford Grey Lady (10-10) at Newbury 2m 5f mares NH nov hdl (3) gs in Nov.
Mercury Bay (IRE) 11-4fav (11-1) Tracked leader, led approaching 6th, mistake and headed 8th, led again next, headed after 3 out, stayed on same pace approaching last, well held by winner, 2nd of 9, 5l behind Another Kate (11-1) at Hereford 2m 6f nov hcp 0-115 (4) gf in Aug.