A tremendous race in prospect with River D'Or and Manyriverstocross appearing to be leading players, while Reve De Sivola sets the standard on official ratings, though preference is for FINIAN'S RAINBOW. The Nick Williams-trained Reve De Sivola did well when stepped up to this trip, winning at Chepstow in the mud with something in hand in October. He never appeared quite so happy at Cheltenham next time, when he stayed on despite a bad mistake three out effectively putting paid to his chance. However, he has a good attitiude, he runs to a consistent level of form, and he relishes the mud, so there is still plenty going for him. River D'Or is completely unexposed, having raced only three times in France, winning the most recent of those on very soft ground in June. He won't be found wanting for preparation here and is likely to be good enough to get very competitive. Manyriverstocross will be very tough to beat after impressing in his Sandown success last time out. He goes well on soft and heavy ground and will stay this far on a flat track, and despite needing to find 7lbs on official BHA ratings he will be a very strong contender. Duke Of Lucca is unexposed and very much going the right way, winning well here last time, and likely to find more for the step up in trip, while Finian's Rainbow romped away with a decent contest here on Hennessy day and is now stepped up in trip. He was staying three miles when falling at the last in his Irish point, but is unbeaten so far in England, acts with plenty of cut and comes into the the category of could be anything. Any Given Day is a hardy sort who never seems to run a bad race, but does have to prove he gets quite as far as this with cut in the ground, and in a tremendous race Finian's Rainbow is the one for us.
Any Given Day (IRE) 13-8 (11-6) Led, headed approaching 2nd, led after 4 out, blundered 2 out, headed last, one pace, 2nd of 6, 5l behind Pepe Simo (11-8) at Haydock 2m lst nov hdl (4yo+) (1) sft in Nov.
Bally Sands (IRE) 5-2 (10-11) Chased leaders, lost place but still in touch 7th, outpaced 4 out, went 3rd flat, 3rd of 11, 16l behind Strategic Approach (11-0) at Chepstow 3m mdn hdl (4yo+) (4) hvy.
Cois Farraig 100-1 (11-0) Took keen hold, led 2nd, headed after 5th, hampered 2 out, soon weakened, 4th of 13, 19l behind Bellvano (11-0) at Newbury 2m NH mdn hdl (3) gs in Nov.
Duke Of Lucca (IRE) 7-2 (11-5) Tracked clear leader, headway 3 out, led after next, soon hard ridden and strongly challenged, stayed on strongly under pressure, won at Newbury 2m 3f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) hvy beating Candy Creek (10-12) by 5l, 15 ran.
Finian's Rainbow (IRE) 9-4 (11-0) Tracked leader, challenged 3 out, led before next, came well clear from last, kept on strongly, won at Newbury 2m nh nov hdl (3) gs in Nov beating Sereth (11-5) by 15l, 13 ran.
Kennel Hill (IRE) 100-1 (11-0) Bumped 1st, held up in last pair, headway from soon after 2 out, chased winner before last, stayed on under pressure flat, 2nd of 8, 2 1/2l behind Tell Massini (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl G2 (1) sft.
Manyriverstocross (IRE) 3-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, driven and headway 2 out, led approaching last, ran on well, won at Sandown 2m 4f nov hdl G2 (1) sft beating Like Minded (11-4) by 2 3/4l, 5 ran.
Quartano (GER) 1-3fav (11-5) Held up in touch, chased clear leader after 5th, led before last, pushed out, won at Folkestone 2m 4f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) hvy in Nov beating Lord Singer (10-12) by 6l, 4 ran.
Restless Harry 12-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, led approaching 3 out, clear approaching next, won at Towcester 2m 5f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) hvy in Nov beating Global Flyer (10-9) by 13l, 9 ran.
Reve de Sivola (FR) 5-6fav (11-7) Not always fluent, chased leaders, hit 4th, went 6nd after 2 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 9, 8l behind Tell Massini (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Nov.
River D'or (FR) (10-5) won at Auteuil(FR) 2m 2f hdl hvy in Jun beating Renomme (10-5) by 2 1/2l, 20 ran.