ACE MASTER and Arkaim finished first and second respectively over C&D last month and look set to fight this one out. The former made all last time and Roy Bowring's charge could well follow up despite the worse terms if allowed his own way in front once again. The disappointing Hilbre Court and Expuntia finished further behind the selection last month and tough filly So Is She makes more appeal as she's scored over hurdles since finishing runner-up over C&D in November.
Arkaim 11-2 (9-6) Prominent, hard ridden over 3f out, effort approaching final furlong, never reached winner, 2nd of 12, 1l behind Ace Master (9-1) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Dec.
Ace Master 10-1 (9-1) Made all, ridden over 2f out, stayed on well, won at Southwell 1m hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Dec beating Arkaim (9-6) by 1l, 12 ran.
Jozafeen 11-1 (8-13) Slowly into stride, behind, headway over 1f out, soon chasing leaders, ran on to lead post, won at Carlisle 1m hcp 0-60 (6) gf in Aug '10 beating Madame Excelerate (9-9) by ns, 9 ran.
General Tufto 9-2 (9-5) Held up in touch, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on one pace final furlong, 4th of 11, 3 1/2l behind Spacecraft (8-7) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Dec.
Mi Regalo 13-2 (9-2) Pulled hard in rear, headway over 1f out, soon beaten, 7th of 11, 6l behind Sulis Minerva (9-0) at Lingfield 6f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Dec.
Hilbre Court (USA) 11-4fav (9-3) Chased leaders, ridden over 3f out, soon beaten, 5th of 12, 8l behind Ace Master (9-1) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Dec.
Bentley 14-1 (9-2) Held up mid-division, ridden over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 9th of 12, 22l behind Mataajir (9-3) at Southwell 1m hcp (0-55) (6) fbs.
Exopuntia 5-1 (9-2) Mid-division, under pressure halfway, headway to chase leaders over 1f out, never on terms, 6th of 12, 8l behind Ace Master (9-1) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Dec.
So Is She (IRE) 13-2 (8-12) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, kept on inside final furlong, nearest finish, 5th of 13, 2 1/4l behind Honourable Knight (9-1) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp (0-55) (6) pol in Nov.