IONA DAYS registered his only win so far over fences in soft ground at Cartmel last August. 6lb higher today, but dropping down a grade, he's expected to relish this greater test of stamina and gets the vote. The lightly-raced Good Order is another who should improve for the longer trip after he finished a credible second at Ffos Las on his chasing bow in November, but Top Benefit was a well beaten fourth at the same track back in March. Fontwell winner Oncle Kid is upped in class but will have no problem with either ground or trip and is preferred to El Diego and Miss Saffron.
Iona Days (IRE) 6-1 (11-8) Mid-division, chased leaders 4 out, ridden approaching next, kept on same pace, no impression, 4th of 13, 6l behind That'lldoboy (11-4) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Nov.
Good Order 5-2 (10-13) Soon tracked winner, ridden 4 out, never able to challenge, 2nd of 5, 4 1/2l behind Frontier Spirit (11-8) at Ffos Las 2m 5f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Nov.
Top Benefit (IRE) 9-2 (10-13) Not jump well, always last, hit 1st and next, mistake 4th, blundered next, ridden and not fluent 9th, no chance and struggling from 11th, tailed off, last of 4, 23l behind Patman Du Charmil (11-8) at Ffos Las 2m 5f hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Mar.
Miss Saffron 10-1 (11-0) Towards rear, ridden and headway before 4 out, soon chased leading pair, kept on same pace, 3rd of 7, 16l behind Molly Round (11-0) at Exeter 2m 3f mares nov ch (4) hvy in Dec.
El Diego (IRE) 16-1 (9-12) Close up, lost place slightly 12th, poor 6th when blundered 17th, tailed off, 5th of 13, 12l behind Drybrook Bedouin (11-8) at Exeter 4m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Dec.
Oncle Kid (FR) 3-1fav (11-12) Led or disputed lead until headed 4 out, lost place before next, weakened 2 out, 6th of 10, 31l behind Bring It On Home (10-12) at Fontwell 3m 2f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Dec.
Kavegirl 14-1 (11-2) Mid-division, outpaced halfway, kept on one pace from 2 out, 4th of 12, 13l behind Chesil Beach Boy (11-5) at Wincanton 2m nov hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.