Sphinx is just a few days short of his 15th birthday but ran his best race for a long time behind today's rival Sun Cloud at Wetherby last month. The winner has been well beaten subsequently but Hurraboru won a bumper on his only start on heavy going and ran very well at Wetherby three weeks ago. AMERICAN LIFE won on the Flat in Germany and ploughed through the Lingfield mud to land a novice hurdle a fortnight ago. He's capable of doing better and can make a winning start in handicaps. Winning point-to-pointer King's Sunset will enjoy the stamina test but Stormion blotted his copybook at Hexham after winning there previously.
Hurraboru (IRE) 14-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway before 4 out, went 3rd before 3 out, left chasing winner before last, every chance when not fluent last, kept on towards finish, 2nd of 8, 3/4l behind Micro Mission (11-3) at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft.
Sun Cloud (IRE) 3-1fav (11-8) Held up in rear, headway before 6th to track leaders, ridden before 3 out, weakened before last, 5th of 8, 29l behind Victor Hewgo (11-11) at Doncaster 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Nov.
Air Force One (GER) 16-1 (11-1) Led until after 1st, pressed leader, led again after 6th, headed 3 out, weakened and blundered next, 6th of 8, 33l behind Sixty Something (11-8) at Bangor 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy.
Saga de Tercey (FR) 12-1 (10-1) Prominent, ridden 8th, weakened approaching 3 out, tailed off, 10th of 11, well behind Bear's Affair (11-7) at Aintree 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) sft.
American Life (FR) 12-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway to chase leaders 3 out, every chance next, led approaching last, headed flat, rallied under pressure to lead again close home, won at Lingfield 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) hvy beating Grace And Fortune (10-5) by hd, 7 ran.
Kellystown Lad (IRE) 7-2 (11-6) Held up in touch, headway before last to go 3rd, one pace, 3rd of 8, 10l behind Victor Hewgo (11-11) at Doncaster 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Nov.
Sphinx (FR) 33-1 (11-5) Mid-division, headway after 4 out, soon chasing leaders, driven to challenge 2 out, kept on under pressure, 2nd of 12, 7l behind Sun Cloud (11-5) at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Nov.
King's Sunset (IRE) 7-4 (10-12) Tended to jump right, led, driven and hard pressed 2 out, headed last, rallied briefly flat, held when edged left towards finish, 2nd of 5, 1 1/4l behind Littledean Jimmy (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Jun.
Stormion (IRE) 4-1 (11-2) In touch in 4th, pushed along 6th, soon weakened, pulled up before last, in a race won by Lisdonagh House (10-3) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) hvy in Nov, 11 ran.
Bally Sands (IRE) 25-1 (10-8) Held up towards rear, some headway 3 out, weakened before next, tailed off, 10th of 13, well behind De La Bech (11-12) at Ascot 3m nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) hvy.
Bollin Fiona 10-1 (11-0) Held up in touch, outpaced 3 out, kept on from last, soon went 3rd, no impression, 3rd of 11, 19l behind Lisdonagh House (10-3) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) hvy in Nov.
Scriptwriter (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Mid-division, outpaced before 2 out, headway before last, never able to challenge, 4th of 17, 5l behind Flora's Pride (11-4) at Catterick 2m 3f am hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft.