FIENDISH FLAME made short work of the odds-on Kells Belle over C&D six days ago. He has a 7lb penalty to carry in this more competitive contest but still has a much higher rating over fences and, if in the same mood, Jennie Candlish's charge should score again. Ranjobaie and Russian George may need more time, while Dhaafer has been disappointing so far this season and is now tried in a visor. Risaala is easing toward a decent mark and can figure, however, while A P McCoy has chosen the lightly-raced Christopher Wren ahead of Jonjo O'Neill's City Theatre. Nick Gifford's four-year-old beat the useful Book'Em Danno over 2m here last month and the third franked the form at Plumpton on Monday - he is a big danger to the selection.
Fiendish Flame (IRE) 11-2 (11-8) Took keen hold, made all, not fluent 2nd, clear after 3 out, eased flat, won at Leicester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs beating Kells Belle (11-9) by 19l, 6 ran.
Afsoun (FR) 25-1 (11-8) Tracked leader until 5th, ridden after next, weakened 2 out, 5th of 12, 20l behind Desert Cry (11-12) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Nov.
Ranjobaie (FR) 40-1 (9-13) Mid-division on inside, chased leaders 3 out, soon outpaced, 6th and held when hit next, weakened before last, tailed off, 10th of 12, well behind Any Given Day (11-7) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) gs in Nov.
Russian George (IRE) 16-1 (11-8) Held up in touch, blundered 8th, soon reminders in rear, weakened from 4 out, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Makhzoon (10-10) at Wetherby 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Jun, 6 ran.
Majestic Mayhem (IRE) 20-1 (11-10) Towards rear, hit and unseated rider 2nd, in a race won by Quicuyo (11-12) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gf in Nov, 9 ran.
Christopher Wren (USA) 4-11fav (10-12) Held mid-division, headway from 3 out, challenged 2 out, led and hit last, driven out, won at Leicester 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov beating Book'em Danno (11-12) by nk, 8 ran.
Dhaafer 7-1 (11-6) Held up towards rear, ridden after 4 out, soon weakened, 5th of 12, 27l behind Bally Legend (11-9) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Nov.
City Theatre (IRE) 28-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders on outer, weakened from 7th, pulled up before 5 out, in a race won by Master Overseer (11-8) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) hvy in Nov, 13 ran.
Risaala 7-2 (11-7) Held up, headway from 6th to press for 2nd next, ridden after 3 out, weakened 2 out, 4th of 6, 23l behind Mr Jay Dee (11-6) at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Nov.
Legion d'Honneur (UAE) 14-1 (10-7) Mid-division, chased leaders 3 out, kept on same pace approaching last, no impression, 7th of 18, 11l behind Rangitoto (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs in Nov.
Black Phantom (IRE) 14-1 (11-7) Held up in mid-division, weakened 9th, behind and struggling 11th, tailed off and pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Bless The Wings (11-11) at Exeter 2m 3f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Nov, 15 ran.