Meridian City stepped up on his promising debut effort when taking a bumper over course and distance last month and Howard Johnson's gelding has to be respected but it is never easy to win bumpers under penalties and a better bet looks to be PRINCE OF GDANSK, who gets the vote with Rosko rated the pick of the remainder. The selection was well held on his debut at Uttoxeter in October but ran much better the following month when finding just Solway Sam too good in a decent race at Ayr and Alan Swinbank's gelding looks the one to be on judged by that effort. Rowdy Rampage, a winner of an Irish point-to-point, has to be of interest for Liam Lennon on his rules debut and makes more appeal than Stormin Exit, who is becoming expensive to follow. Don McCain has his string in good form now so Beau Troubadour has to be respected but he needs to improve and a bigger threat may come from Brian Ellison's Rosko, who made a pleasing debut at Sedgefield last month. Prince of Gdansk has plenty going for him though and he gets the vote.
Meridian City (IRE) 3-1 (11-2) Tracked leader, ridden over 3f out, led over 2f out, driven out, won at Musselburgh 2m mdn nhf (5) gf in Nov beating Now This Is It (11-2) by 1 1/2l, 13 ran.
Beau Troubadour (FR) 6-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders and keen, reminders 10f out, hung left and weakened 4f out, 9th of 10, well behind Springfield Raki (11-7) at Towcester 2m nhf (5) sft in Nov.
Dukelow (IRE) Definite Article gelding out of Thesi.
Kalanisi Kid Kalanisi gelding out of winning sprinter Fille de Bucheron.
Prince of Gdansk (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) In touch, challenged over 3f out, kept on and every chance over 1f out, no extra final furlong, 2nd of 14, 1l behind Solway Sam (10-11) at Ayr 2m nhf (6) gs in Nov.
Rosko 14-1 (11-2) Behind, ridden over 3f out, kept on under pressure final 2f, no impression, 3rd of 11, 10l behind Triggerman (11-2) at Sedgefield 2m 1f nhf (6) gs in Nov.
Rowdy Rampage (IRE) Lahib gelding out of Rowdy Nights.
Stormin Exit (IRE) 80-1 (11-2) Led, ridden and headed over 2f out, kept on one pace, 4th of 13, 4l behind Meridian City (11-2) at Musselburgh 2m mdn nhf (5) gf in Nov.
West Dance (IRE) 20-1 (11-7) In rear of mid-division, weakened 5f out, tailed off, 15th of 18, well behind Borrowaddy (12-0) at Dundalk 2m 1f nhf pol in Nov.