Only four runners will contest this disappointing end to proceedings and none of those with experience have shown much so far. FLASH CRASH makes his hurdling debut but that may not be too much of a disadvantage. He was only beaten half-a-length in a Newmarket handicap over 1m2f in September and would probably win this if translating that form to hurdles. Dropzone's latest sixth over course and distance looks the best effort among the others but that's not saying much.
Dropzone (USA) 50-1 (10-7) Mid-division, not fluent 3rd, headway when mistake 3 out, one pace flat, 6th of 15, 13l behind Utopian (10-13) at Ludlow 2m mdn hdl (4) sft.
Flash Crash 40-1 (7-13) Switched right to race alone far side, in touch, ridden over 3f out, headway and hung left over 2f out, joined centre group and every chance over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 3rd of 9, 1/2l behind Odin (9-4) at Newmarket 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (6) gd in Sep (flat).
Golden Acorn (IRE) 66-1 (9-7) Tracked leaders, ridden 3 out, weakened next, 9th of 14, well behind Home Run (11-2) at Wincanton 2m nov hcp hdl 0-100 (5) hvy in Dec.
Kozmina Bay 100-1 (10-0) Mid-division, mistake 5th, weakened 4 out, 7th of 13, well behind King of Dudes (10-12) at Ludlow 2m 4yo mdn hdl (5) sft in Jan.