COUNTRYWIDE FLAME has been running well off this mark over shorter trips lately but showed that stamina was his forte with a wide-margin win over hurdles at Cartmel in August. Dale Swift takes off 3lb today and, with forecast conditions certain to suit, John Quinn's three-year-old should take all the beating. Dark Dune is fairly consistent but his best efforts have been on good to firm ground, while Daytime Dreamer and Brasingaman Eric may be a fraction high in the weights at present. Al Furat landed a gamble here last month but couldn't cope with a higher mark at Catterick next time, though is still preferred to fellow C&D winner Simple Jim and top weight Chookie Hamilton of the others.
Chookie Hamilton 11-4 (10-0) With leader, ridden over 2f out, led over 1f out, soon headed, weakened inside final furlong, 3rd of 5, 3 1/2l behind Miss Ferney (8-10) at Musselburgh 1m 6f hcp 0-80 (4) gf in Sep.
Countrywide Flame 13-2 (9-4) Slowly into stride, pushed along and soon chased leader, led over 6f out, ridden and headed over 2f out, weakened and lost 3rd place towards finish, 4th of 9, 2 3/4l behind Getabuzz (9-6) at Ripon 1m 4f 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) gs in Aug.
Dark Dune (IRE) 20-1 (8-12) Took keen hold, held up in rear, staying on same pace when not much room over 2f out, plugged on, 5th of 8, 7l behind Lordofthehouse (8-13) at Haydock 1m 6f 3yo hcp 0-80 (4) gs in Sep.
Daytime Dreamer (IRE) 22-1 (8-13) Mid-division, headway and came stand side over 2f out, every chance approaching final furlong, kept on well under pressure, 2nd of 13, nk behind Miss Ferney (8-9) at Catterick 1m 6f hcp 0-65 (6) gd in Sep.
Brasingaman Eric 6-1 (8-8) Towards rear, headway over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, chased winner over 1f out, no impression, 2nd of 9, 18l behind The Bells O Peover (9-11) at Pontefract 1m 4f app hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Sep.
Maybeme 40-1 (8-4) Slowly into stride, held up towards rear, stayed on inside in straight, pushed along over 3f out, no impression final 2f, 10th of 14, 11l behind Trip The Light (9-3) at York 1m 4f app hcp (0-85) (4yo+) (4) gd.
Simple Jim (FR) 7-2 (9-5) Held up towards rear and keen, ridden over 2f out, stayed on from over 1f out, 4th of 9, 7l behind Resplendent Ace (9-9) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Sep.
Categorical 15-2 (9-5) Held up towards rear, headway over 7f out, went 5th 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 6th of 10, 26l behind Moonlight Blaze (8-0) at Catterick 2m hcp 0-70 (5) gs in Oct '10.
Al Furat (USA) 6-4fav (9-2) Raced keenly towards rear, headway over 3f out, chased leaders over 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, 4th of 10, 4 1/2l behind Ad Value (8-7) at Catterick 1m 6f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) gd in Sep.
Fairest Isle (IRE) 15-2 (9-4) Held up in mid-division, pushed along over 4f out, not much room 2f out, never dangerous, 8th of 13, 15l behind Deceptive (9-1) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp (0-65) (6) pol.