Trend Is My Friend is sure to be popular having got off the mark in determined fashion at Sedgefield. Endeavor is in good form but is also on a career-high mark while Millers Reef is probably best watched after a lengthy absence. Brian Ellison runs MUSNAD and Lifetime but the former looks the one to be on as he has a progressive profile and looks like being a lot better over hurdles than he was on the Flat. Craig Gallagher's 8lb claim is a major plus in a race like this.
Musnad (USA) 11-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 5th, led 3 out, clear 2 out, just nudged out flat, cheekily, won at Southwell 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Apr beating Alwaystheoptimist (11-0) by nk, 16 ran.
Trend Is My Friend (USA) 3-1 (10-9) Chased clear pair, went 2nd before 2 out, challenged 2 out, upsides leaddr last, led narrowly run-in, hung left, just held on, won at Sedgefield 2m 1f mdn hdl (5) gf in Apr beating Travis County (10-2) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Lifetime (IRE) 11-1 (11-0) Always prominent, ridden and edged left after 2 out, stayed on same pace flat, 3rd of 12, 5l behind Ivan Boru (11-0) at Kelso 2m 2f mdn hdl (4) gd in Apr.
Smart Ruler (IRE) 16-1 (10-11) Always in rear, struggling 4 out, never dangerous, 8th of 9, 19l behind Call Back (11-9) at Newcastle 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Apr.
Millers Reef (IRE) 3-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, effort 2 out, soon one pace, 3rd of 8, 2 3/4l behind Guns of Love (9-11) at Huntingdon 2m hcp 0-100 (5) gf in Aug.
Endeavor 11-10fav (10-13) Took keen hold, mid-division, headway 2nd, chased winner approaching 2 out, stayed on same pace, no impression, 2nd of 8, 8l behind Kayfton Pete (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 1f Ladies Selling Handicap Hurdle (0-100) (4yo+) (5) gd in Apr.
Kian's Joy 20-1 (10-6) Chased leader, hit 4th, lost 2nd next, chased leaders until weakened after 3 out, 7th of 11, 27l behind Majestic Bull (10-5) at Bangor 2m 1f hcp hdl (5) hvy in Dec.