Nothing leaps off the page in this finale however under stronger handling MERRION TIGER might be able to get back to winning ways at the main expense of Jackie Kiely and Mister Frosty. The selection is one of several course and distance winners in the race and the drop in trip today won't be a problem. Ian Brennan is a promising young jockey who takes over in the saddle and a bold bid is expected despite his mark of 60 looking high enough. Iceman George is back down to his last winning mark and looks interesting with Pat Cosgrave taking the ride, Highland River is consistent over a variety of trips, whilst Jackie Kiely won easily here in an amateur race last time out but the old-timer faces a stiffer examination of his credentials today in a stronger race off a 5lb higher mark. Bivouac needs a market check on his return to the flat after a spell over timber, They All Laughed is a course and distance winner who has shaped with more promise on his last two starts, whilst Lean Burn needs a market check now stepped up markedly in trip. Mister Frosty is still a maiden after 14 runs but he has run well at the track before, whilst Royal Max is an interesting contender having contested some hot novice' hurdles of late. Reigning In Rio and Unconsoled both have stamina to prove, so they are passed over in favour of Merrion Tiger.
Merrion Tiger (IRE) 8-1 (10-2) Tracked leaders, chased winner 2f out, no impression, 2nd of 9, 12l behind Aaman (9-13) at Southwell 1m 6f Amateur Handicap (0-65) (4yo+) (6) fbs.
Iceman George 7-1 (9-1) Held up, ridden over 2f out, soon weakened, 7th of 10, 22l behind All Guns Firing (9-4) at Southwell 1m 3f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs.
Highland River 11-1 (8-12) Chased leader until over 3f out, one pace in 3rd final 2f, 3rd of 6, 5l behind Tyrana (9-3) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-65 (6) fbs.
Jackie Kiely 11-4fav (10-10) Held up mid-division, good headway over 2f out, led approaching final furlong, ridden clear, won at Southwell 1m 3f am hcp 0-55 (6) fbs beating Bright Sparky (10-9) by 4l, 12 ran.
Bivouac (UAE) 7-1 (9-3) Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, weakened over 1f out, last of 10, 10l behind Kind Heart (8-5) at Redcar 1m 2f sell stks (6) gf in Sep.
They All Laughed 5-1 (9-4) Held up towards rear, ridden over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 4th of 13, 2l behind Paint The Town Red (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 6f hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Lean Burn (USA) 33-1 (8-10) Held up towards rear, ridden over 4f out, behind final 3f, 10th of 12, 14l behind Saviour Sand (8-13) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Golden Future 6-1 (8-10) Mid-division, headway 3f out, led 2f out, ridden over 1f out, headed and no extra inside final furlong, 3rd of 11, 2 1/4l behind Simple Jim (9-2) at Catterick 1m 6f hcp 0-60 (6) gd in Oct.
Mandalay Prince 40-1 (9-0) Towards rear, never dangerous, 9th of 12, 19l behind Shandelight (8-6) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp (0-55) (6) pol.
Mister Frosty (IRE) 5-1 (8-4) Prominent, one pace over 1f out, 3rd of 10, 7l behind All Guns Firing (9-4) at Southwell 1m 3f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs.
Royal Max (IRE) 10-1 (8-7) Soon led, ridden and headed 1f out, no extra, 3rd of 11, 4 1/2l behind The Last Don (9-6) at Kempton 1m 4f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) pol in Jul.
Surdoue 33-1 (8-2) Keen early, tracked leader, ridden over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 8th of 12, 14l behind Bolckow (8-8) at Hamilton 1m 4f app hcp (6) gf in Jun '08.
Reigning In Rio (IRE) 22-1 (8-11) Always behind, 12th of 14, 18l behind Isitcozimcool (8-12) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-52 (6) fbs.
Unconsoled 4-1 (8-6) Tracked leading pair, effort to lead narrowly 2f out, ridden and headed 1f out, no extra, 2nd of 4, 6l behind Sedgwick (9-3) at Southwell 1m sell stks (6) fbs.