A tricky opener in which several look to have decent claims. Uhlan Bute will probably be sent off favourite as he's been keeping better company in the main this winter, though he continues to give the impression a longer trip wouldn't come amiss. The four-year-old RAVEN'S TOWER also has a penalty to carry and has been handicapping but he did win here in November and an earlier second to Ballyglasheen at Ludlow has worked out better than expected. He gets the nod as he's proven on the ground, which could be a real problem for last month's course and distance second Minority Interest. Freddy Q has scope but may need more time.
Uhlan Bute (FR) 15-8 (11-12) Tracked leaders, not fluent and went 2nd last (normal 3 out), one pace and no chance with winner final furlong, 2nd of 10, 6l behind Hint Of Mint (11-5) at Leicester 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy.
Daveron (IRE) 100-1 (10-9) Took keen hold chasing leaders, went 2nd before 3 out until before 2 out, no impression when hit 2 out, hit last, no extra in 4th final 110 yards, 4th of 14, 12l behind Horizontal Speed (11-4) at Taunton 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Freddy Q (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Led, set moderate pace, ridden and headed before 2 out, soon outpaced, beaten when lost place last, 6th of 7, 16l behind Irving (11-5) at Ascot 2m hdl (3) gs in Nov.
Harlequins Gleams 33-1 (11-4) Held up in touch, weakened over 5f out, tailed off, 6th of 7, well behind Seven Nation Army (10-12) at Fontwell 1m 6f NH flat (6) sft in Apr.
Minority Interest 33-1 (11-6) Held up in rear, headway approaching 2 out, chased leaders last, stayed on strongly closing stages, every chance close home, just failed, 2nd of 14, shd behind Vikekhal (11-6) at Plumpton 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Spartilla 100-1 (10-13) Behind, never nearer, 7th of 14, 31l behind Vikekhal (11-6) at Plumpton 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Raven's Tower (USA) 14-1 (11-4) Led, clear 2nd, hit next, reduced lead 4 out, joined and mistake next, ridden and headed well before 2 out, no impression when lost 2nd before mistake next, mistake last, 3rd of 6, 21l behind Vicenzo Mio (11-8) at Kempton 2m 3yo hdl (3) sft in Dec.
On The Move 66-1 (10-4) Behind and pushed along, never dangerous, last of 13, well behind Another Hero (10-11) at Newton Abbot 2m 3f mdn hdl (5) gf in Jul.
Saint Helena (IRE) 50-1 (10-12) In rear and pulled hard, blundered 4 out, soon tailed off, in a race won by Dubawi Island (11-12) at Plumpton 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy, 9 ran.
Hermosa Vaquera (IRE) 100-1 (10-5) Held up in rear, slow 2nd, headway 3 out, chased leaders next, weakened before last, 7th of 12, 35l behind Muhtaris (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f 3yo hdl (4) gs in Dec.