Direct Approach was winning for the first time in 25 starts when landing one of these events on the Fibresand at Southwell last week. It remains to be seen if he can reproduce that form on this faster surface but Shaddaii finished a decent fourth in a similar contest over track and trip early last year and may figure. The Nephew has strong claims on his more recent effort behind Tanks For That at Kempton but Jonjo O'Neill's charge is overlooked in favour of THE STIG. The latter is the highest rated of these over obstacles and AP McCoy's presence in the saddle takes the eye. Ginger Fizz has gone close over track and trip on the Flat and is preferred to Very Noble.
Direct Approach (IRE) 50-1 (11-2) Held up in touch on outside, closed 12f out, led 3f out, ridden 2f out, stayed on, eased close home, won at Southwell 2m n h flat (4) std beating King Rolfe (11-2) by 2 3/4l, 7 ran.
Keppel Isle (IRE) 50-1 (11-4) Prominent, took keen hold, weakened over 2f out, 11th of 13, 41l behind Ellnando Queen (10-8) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan.
Shaddaii (FR) 8-1 (10-0) Led, ridden and clear before 2 out, headed run-in, kept on, lost 2nd near finish, 3rd of 12, 1l behind Divine Folly (10-10) at Worcester 2m 4f cond nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Jul.
Sun Quest 66-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, driven before 5th, soon weakened, tailed off and pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Join The Navy (10-12) at Taunton 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) hvy, 13 ran.
The Nephew (IRE) 20-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, headway on inside over 2f out, pushed along one pace and no impression inside final furlong, 6th of 13, 5l behind Tanks For That (11-0) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std.
Theredballoon 5-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, headway 6th, ridden and weakened before 2 out, 3rd of 6, 22l behind Theodore Lamb (11-4) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nov hcp 0-115 (4) gd in Mar '12.
The Stig (FR) 6-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, weakened before 3 out, 8th of 14, well behind Vikekhal (11-6) at Plumpton 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Very Noble (FR) 7-2 (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway before 2 out, one pace, 7th of 12, 16l behind The Skyfarmer (11-5) at Taunton 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Ginger Fizz 40-1 (10-10) Tracked leaders, went 2nd before 4 out, weakened from 2 out, 6th of 11, 39l behind Act Alone (11-1) at Doncaster 2m 3f mdn hdl (5) gs in Jan.
Mariet 20-1 (11-2) Behind, some late headway, never nearer, 6th of 11, 17l behind Our Phylli Vera (11-5) at Plumpton 2m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.