Most have been finding winning hard to achieve of late but, whatever his fate today, Against The Wind is one to keep a close eye on. He had some useful form for the Lucinda Russell team when last seen over two years ago and the market should give the most accurate guide to stable expectations. He would certainly be a leading player here if retaining most of his ability. Harriet Graham is double-handed with Soul Magic and Prince Tam, both of whom delivered decent runner-up efforts last time. Preference is for the latter due to a slipping handicap mark, aided by the useful 5lb claim of Jonathan England. However, the safest choice is SURPRISE VENDOR. He's steadily getting his act together over fences, putting up good performances behind Jack The Gent and Quite The Man the last twice. At home on good ground, there should be room for further improvement at the age of seven with just half a dozen chase runs to his name to date.
Freddie Brown 5-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden, weakened last, 5th of 8, 35l behind Jack The Gent (11-12) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs.
Against The Wind 3-1 (10-13) Tracked leader, led 3 out, ridden and headed next, stayed on same pace flat, 3rd of 6, 1 1/2l behind You Know Yourself (11-7) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Mar '11.
Schinken Otto (IRE) 16-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, tailed off from 7th, 6th of 8, 36l behind Bridlingtonbygones (11-1) at Sedgefield 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs.
Suprise Vendor (IRE) 9-2 (10-1) Tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd from 5 out, kept on from 2 out, no impression, 2nd of 8, 10l behind Jack The Gent (11-12) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs.
Well Oiled (IRE) 20-1 (10-11) In touch on outside, dropped to rear after 4th, struggling 7th, tailed off when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Sacre Toi (11-2) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Mar, 8 ran.
Soul Magic (IRE) 20-1 (10-0) Held up in 4th, tracked leading pair 6th, ridden after 3 out, 4th and outpaced next, stayed on to take 2nd flat, no chance with winner, 2nd of 9, 18l behind Swift Arrow (11-6) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Nov.
Primrose Time 22-1 (10-4) Led to 2nd, tracked winner until 5 out, weakened before and mistake last, 4th of 8, 25l behind Jack The Gent (11-12) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs.
Prince Tam 12-1 (10-6) Led, soon clear, headed last, one pace and no chance with winner, 2nd of 6, 3 1/2l behind Sleep In First (11-8) at Carlisle 2m hcp chs 0-105 (4) gd.
Craicneasy (IRE) 100-1 (10-0) Always behind, blundered 12th, soon pulled up, in a race won by William Money (11-9) at Carlisle 2m 5f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd, 8 ran.