Donald McCain runs three but Son Of Flicka remains out of sorts and Across The Bay may need further to show his best. Stablemate Reindeer Dippin makes most appeal of the trio, therefore, after his second at Aintree last month but the progressive ATTAGLANCE is preferred. A winner at Carlisle in October, he finished third in better company over C&D last month and today's slower ground should suit. Sandown winner Pateese has to come into the reckoning after disappointing in a Grade 3 race at Cheltenham last time while Gambo, Moonlight Drive and Sir Tantallus Hawk are others to consider in an open affair. Afsoun has a first preference at Newcastle today.
Son of Flicka 50-1 (11-6) Mid-division, outpaced 4 out, soon behind, 18th of 23, 41l behind Brampour (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Nov.
Pateese (FR) 9-2fav (10-9) With leaders, every chance 2 out, ridden and not much room when lost place and blundered last, weakened flat, 11th of 23, 16l behind Brampour (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Nov.
Houblon Des Obeaux (FR) 22-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, ridden 3 out, soon lost place, no impression from next, 6th of 12, 8l behind Any Given Day (11-7) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) gs in Nov.
Across The Bay (IRE) 16-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders, driven approaching 3 out, disputed 2nd next, soon ridden, kept on same pace, no impression when lost 3rd near finish, 4th of 20, 9l behind Dynaste (10-13) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Nov.
Zanir (FR) (10-12) 4th of 14, 6l behind Formosa Joana Has (10-7) at Auteuil(FR) 2m 3f hdl sft in Jun.
Reindeer Dippin 5-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, steady headway from 6th, led approaching 2 out, ridden and headed when not fluent last, one pace and no impression flat, 2nd of 11, 14l behind Featherbed Lane (10-10) at Aintree 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) sft.
Attaglance 12-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, joined leader 4 out, outpaced and lost 2nd approaching 2 out, soon ridden, stayed on same pace, no impression with leading pair flat, 3rd of 12, 2 1/2l behind Any Given Day (11-7) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) gs in Nov.
Afsoun (FR) 14-1 (11-9) Chased leaders, effort approaching 3 out, soon hard ridden, kept on same pace approaching last, 3rd of 11, 8l behind Christopher Wren (11-2) at Leicester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs.
Sir Tantallus Hawk 5-1 (11-6) Held up in touch, ridden and every chance before and hit last, weakened run-in, 3rd of 6, 4 1/2l behind Dubai Crest (10-6) at Doncaster 2m Handicap Hurdle (0-140) (3yo+) (3) gs.
Moonlight Drive (IRE) 5-4fav (11-2) Held up in touch, headway to track leaders when mistake 4 out, left 2nd when slightly hampered next, ridden and stayed on, 2nd of 10, 4l behind Carpincho (11-2) at Market Rasen 2m 6f beg chs (4) gs in Nov.
Teenage Idol (IRE) 11-2 (10-10) Chased leaders, chased winner before 3 out, ridden before 2 out, kept on towards finish, 2nd of 10, 1 3/4l behind Akula (11-8) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs.
Grafite 12-1 (10-11) In last pair, blundered 10th, struggling when blundered 12th, tailed off soon after, blundered last, 5th of 7, 50l behind Ostland (11-0) at Fontwell 2m 6f beg chase (4) gd in May.
Safran De Cotte (FR) 9-1 (10-1) Mid-division, mistake 5th, headway 8th, chased leader after 3 out to before next, soon ridden, kept on same pace, no impression, 3rd of 19, 17l behind Poungach (11-4) at Sandown 2m 6f hcp hdl (2) gs.
Gambo (IRE) 13-2 (10-5) Towards ear, not fluent 3rd, slighty hampered 7th, headway before 4 out, chased leaders 2 out, led between last 2, stayed on well flat, won at Chepstow 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Oct beating Eastlake (11-7) by 2 1/4l, 11 ran.