UPTON MEAD stepped up on previous efforts when chasing home Foundation Man at Kempton last week. He races off the same mark here and can make the most of the weights he receives from the returning Plein Pouvoir and O'callaghan Strand, third at Exeter on his reappearance but possibly a couple of pounds too high at present. All of Taffy Thomas' wins have come on ground with some give and he was still beaten 18 lengths when second at Ffos Las last month but Be Definite is back on a winning mark and could figure.
Plein Pouvoir (FR) 6-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders on outside, lost place 12th, struggling from 15th, well behind from 4 out, left remote 4th after 2 out, 4th of 7, well behind Financial Climate (10-12) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gf in May.
O'callaghan Strand (AUS) 4-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders in 4th, went 3rd 4 out, driven and one pace between last 2, 3rd of 6, 3 1/2l behind Special Account (11-9) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Oct.
Mister Snowball (FR) 16-1 (10-12) Mid-division, not fluent 1st, hampered 4th, headway tracking leaders when left 2nd on bend before 9th, left in lead 11th, ridden and headed 3 out, 4th and no impression 2 out, dropped to 5th close home, 5th of 16, 26l behind Deciding Moment (10-7) at Wincanton 2m 5f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Oct.
Beside The Fire 10-1 (11-5) Always behind, reminders and struggling after 3 out, tailed off, 9th of 10, 34l behind Theatrelands (10-12) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Oct.
Next Oasis (IRE) 9-1 (10-9) Led after 1st, hit 4th, not fluent and jumped left 8th, 3 lengths clear when fell 3 out, in a race won by Sergeant Pink (11-3) at Uttoxeter 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Sep, 9 ran.
Be Definite (IRE) 12-1 (11-11) Chased leaders, no extra in 4th entering straight, beaten when pecked last, 4th of 11, 16l behind Firm Order (11-12) at Kempton 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Oct.
Taffy Thomas 11-4 (11-1) Held up in touch in mid-division, not fluent 1st or 2nd, mistake 10th, went 2nd before 4 out, well held by winner after 3 out, 2nd of 8, 18l behind Mister Grez (11-7) at Ffos Las 2m 5f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Oct.
Upton Mead (IRE) 13-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden before 3 out, went 2nd before 2 out, ridden before last, kept on and held run-in, 2nd of 7, 2 3/4l behind Foundation Man (11-12) at Kempton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs.