Aather won once in six starts on the Flat in Ireland in 2008 but has been hurdling since joining his current trainer. He's potentially well handicapped here given his improvement over timber. Trachonitis had Humungous behind when second at Southwell last time and could figure, while Where's Susie won an amateur race at Lingfield in November where she beat Sir Boss. BEAT ROUTE was headed at the post on his latest start over C&D and he gets a tentative vote to go one better in a wide-open contest.
Trachonitis (IRE) 3-1 (9-7) Steadied start, held up in touch in rear, headway to go 3rd 4f out, ridden to chase winner over 1f out, no impression final furlong, eased near finish, 2nd of 6, 4l behind Eseej (9-6) at Southwell 1m 3f hacp 0-70 (5) fbs.
Where's Susie 7-1 (9-10) Chased leading pair, went 2nd 3f out, ridden to lead over 1f out, headed 1f out, lost 2nd inside final furlong, weakened to 4th final 50 yards, 4th of 11, 2l behind Adoyen Spice (8-13) at Kempton 1m 3f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Jan.
Time Square (FR) 33-1 (8-13) Steadied start, took keen hold and held up last in steadily run race, driven along and outpaced over 2f out, no chance after, 5th of 6, 6l behind Encircled (9-7) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Aather (IRE) 12-1 (8-8) Never a factor, 12th of 13, 11l behind Young Jemmy (9-7) at Dundalk 1m 3yo hcp 0-90 pol in Aug '08.
Humungous (IRE) 16-1 (8-13) Tracked winner 1f, went 2nd again 5f out, ridden and not on terms with winner 3f out, lost 2nd well over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, held when squeezed out close home, 5th of 8, 3 1/2l behind Eseej (8-8) at Kempton 1m 3f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Jan.
Beat Route 9-2 (9-1) Tracked leaders, ridden to lead 2f out, headed last stride, 2nd of 11, hd behind My Valley (9-6) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp 0-65 (6) pol in Jan.
Sir Boss (IRE) 11-2 (10-8) Mid-division, headway over 1f out, soon chasing leaders, ran on inside final furlong, never able to challenge, 3rd of 14, 3/4l behind Squad (10-6) at Lingfield 1m 4f am hcp (0-70) (5) pol.
Heading To First 100-1 (8-13) Led 2f, in touch, ridden over 3f out, weakened 2f out, last of 10, 13l behind The Happy Hammer (8-11) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Professor John (IRE) 8-1 (8-10) Mid-division, hard ridden well over 1f out, no progress, 8th of 12, 3 1/2l behind Lay Claim (9-4) at Kempton 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Folio (IRE) 10-1 (8-13) Held up, not troubled leaders, 6th of 8, 8l behind Lord Theo (9-2) at Lingfield 1m 2f hacp 0-70 (5) pol in Jan.