WAR OF THE ROSES gets the verdict in the penultimate contest with Aypeeyes and Slip also given a claim. The selection is a bit of a course specialist and has finished either first or second in 10 of his last 11 appearances here. The latest was a runners-up spot when he was unlucky to run into a progressive sort and although he is rated six pounds higher than his last victory he looks competitive enough to improve his record further. Aypeeyes is a smart looking hurdler for Alan King who returns his charge to the level after placing in a competative race over timber last time. He was a winner over distance on the turf in August but comes here miles above his last winning mark on the polytrack, which is of more than a concern. Slip has put in a string of consistent efforts recently but has yet to score over this trip. Even so he's well treated here and could be competitive but the course specialist War Of The Roses has the vote.
King's Head (IRE) 10-1 (9-1) Mid-division, ridden and weakened 4f out, dismounted when pulled up in race won by Millville (10-1) at W'hampton 1m 4f hcp 0-100 (2) pol in Nov, 11 ran.
Grande Caiman (IRE) 7-2 (9-12) Tracked leaders, pushed along over 4f out, soon under pressure, weakened and hung left well over 1f out, 5th of 6, 10l behind Viper (9-13) at Newmarket 2m hcp 0-90 (3) gs in Oct.
Celtic Spirit (IRE) 14-1 (9-6) Held up behind, not much room on rail over 2f out, slightly lost place, kept on from over 1f out, never dangerous, 7th of 11, 12l behind Dansant (9-8) at Kempton 1m 4f lst stk (1) pol in Nov.
War of The Roses (IRE) 5-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, steadway headway over 3f out, went 2nd 2f out, led over 1f out and kept on well until headed and unable to quicken inside final furlong, kept on, 2nd of 12, 1/2l behind Falcativ (8-10) at Lingfield 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) p.
Aypeeyes (IRE) 3-1fav (9-7) Held up, headway 3f out, ridden and every chance over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 6th of 11, 4 1/2l behind Apache Fort (8-13) at Newmarket 1m 4f clm (4) gf in Sept.
Basra (IRE) 22-1 (8-12) Raced wide in touch, ridden over 2f out, not trouble leaders over 1f out, 7th of 13, 3 1/2l behind Markab (9-4) at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-90 (3) pol in Nov.
Slip 12-1 (7-10) Held up, headway over 2f out, soon ridden, hung left final furlong and weakened, 4th of 11, 8l behind Millville (10-1) at W'hampton 1m 4f hcp 0-100 (2) pol in Nov.
Heroes 6-1 (9-2) Prominent, went 2nd briefly well over 1f out, ridden when hampered 1f out, no chance after, eased, 11th of 12, 10l behind Princely Hero (8-11) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Nov.