STRIKEMASTER has been put up 5lb for winning narrowly at Catterick but his rider claims 7lb and Lee James' gelding, who has been in good form this year, can follow up. Soprano and La Bacouetteuse look the likely dangers on recent form but it would be no surprise to Sergeant Pink in the firing-line and Antoella isn't without ability. She won a handicap hurdle by five lengths over track and trip in February and, though unraced since March, has the accomplished Tom David doing the steering today.
Soprano (GER) 11-1 (7-11) Tracked leaders, lost place over 5f out, kep ton from 2f out, no impression, 4th of 9, 10l behind Taikoo (9-0) at Ayr 2m 1f hcp (4) sft in Sep.
La Bacouetteuse (FR) 5-2fav (9-5) Held up towards rear, ridden over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, headway over 1f out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 8, 5l behind Epic (9-13) at Hamilton 1m 4f hcp 0-70 (5) sft in Sep.
Mighty Whitey (IRE) 7-1 (9-8) Dwelt, towards rear, ridden over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 4th of 8, 4 1/2l behind Botham (9-7) at Hamilton 1m 1f app hcp (6) sft in Sep.
Maid Of Meft 22-1 (9-2) Dwelt, always behind, last of 13, 50l behind River Dragon (9-2) at Newcastle 2m hcp 0-75 (5) sft.
Sergeant Pink (IRE) 10-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, lost place 6f out, 8th of 9, 33l behind Bocciani (10-5) at Carlisle 1m 6f am hcp 0-60 (6) gs in Aug.
Elk Trail (IRE) 25-1 (10-5) Led, ridden and headed over 1f out, edged left and weakened inside final furlong, 5th of 13, 4l behind Dancing Primo (11-7) at Haydock 1m 4f am hcp (0-70) (4yo+) (5) gs in Sep.
Strikemaster (IRE) 11-1 (9-3) Held up towards rear, headway over 2f out, soon chasing leaders, ran on inside final furlong, led post, won at Catterick 2m hcp 0-60 (6) gf beating Hi Dancer (9-3) by hd, 12 ran.
Eila Wheeler 25-1 (9-0) Dwelt, tracked leaders, ridden and weakened over 2f out, 8th of 11, 22l behind Sky High Diver (8-12) at Newcastle 1m 4f mdn auc stks (6) sft.
Antoella (IRE) 25-1 (7-12) Slowy away, in rear, some headway over 4f out on outer, ridden over 3f out, plugged on from over 2f out, never dangerous, 5th of 11, 9l behind Carnac (8-12) at Southwell 1m 6f app hcp (0-55) (6) fbs in Jan.
Red Kingdom (IRE) 10-1 (8-10) Mid-division, 9th halfway, ridden and no impression over 3f out, 10th of 15, 19l behind Asiya (9-4) at Sligo 1m 4f hcp 47-65 in Aug '10.
Abernethy (IRE) 20-1 (8-2) Dwelt, in rear, ridden over 2f out on outer, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 8, 20l behind Smart Step (9-0) at Hamilton 1m 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) sft in Sep.