The trio for the shortlist in the finale are Aather, Four Strong Winds and ZAFRANAGAR and the vote is given to the last mentioned. Zafranagar won well last month at Cheltenham, and Sweet World who finished second that day ran well in defeat at Wincanton yesterday. The form looks solid enough and as he will also handle the ground conditions he should run a big race. Aather was far from disgraced in a better race than this at Kempton back in October but the ground is a worry for him today and on that basis we will take him on. Four Strong Winds will have no problems with the ground and he ran a race full of promise when he finished third behind San Marino at Exeter. There may be more to come from him, while Arctic Cape hails from a yard in good form and he is back over hurdles after a couple of runs on the flat. He handles a bit of cut in the ground but he has yet to race on ground as testing as this. Dinarius looks the best of the others, but the vote is given to Zafranagar.
Dinarius 7-1 (11-9) Held up in mid-division, headway travelling well approaching 3 out, ridden and weakened soon after next, 10th of 11, 25l behind Zafranagar (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m nov hcp hdl (3) sft in Nov.
Four Strong Winds (IRE) 7-2 (10-12) Held up towards rear, steady headway travelling well to track leading pair approaching 3 out, ridden next, one pace and no impression before last, 3rd of 11, 9l behind San Marino (10-5) at Exeter 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Arctic Cape 4-1 (11-12) Chased leader to before 6th, regained 2nd before 3 out until weakened 2 out, 5th of 8, 15l behind Rock Me (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in Oct.
Zafranagar (IRE) 14-1 (10-11) Chased leaders, challenged 2 out, narrow lead soon after, ridden approaching last, kept on well under pressure flat, won at Cheltenham 2m nov hcp hdl (3) sft in Nov beating Sweet World (10-9) by 1/2l, 11 ran.
Aather (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Keen, held up, went third at 3rd, slipped on bend approaching 2 out, driven and mistake 2 out, soon weakened, 3rd of 5, 11l behind Cootehill (11-8) at Kempton 2m lst nov hdl (4yo+) (1) gf in Oct.
Karky Schultz (GER) 9-1 (11-9) Tracked leader, lost place 7th, challenged 3 out, outpaced next, 3rd and no impression when hit last, no extra flat, 4th of 14, 18l behind River Logic (11-9) at Market Rasen 2m 3f cond hcp hdl 0-1115 (4) hvy in Nov.
L'Homme de Nuit (GER) 11-1 (11-1) Made most, ridden and strongly pressed 2 out, headed soon after, weakened before last, 8th of 11, 11l behind Zafranagar (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m nov hcp hdl (3) sft in Nov.
Noble Future 11-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, hampered 2nd, ridden and lost place approaching 2 out, behind when pulled up before last, in a race won by Manjam (10-10) at Hereford 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gs in Nov, 14 ran.