CHARITY LANE, Midnight Chase and Khachaturian form the shortlist in this handicap hurdle and the vote is given to Charity Lane. The selection hails from a yard in good form and he is on the hat-trick bid today. He shaped as though this stiffer test of stamina would suit when he won at Chepstow last time, he looks progressive and he has ground conditions to suit so he should take plenty of beating. Midnight Chase is another in good form and he is another who will have no problems with the ground. He is steadily rising in the weights but he looks progressive and he can give our selection a race. Khachaturian is a game frontrunner, but this trip is probably further than his best and on that basis we will take him on today. Mendo would have claims on the pick of his form, but he has been a bit disappointing of late and we will stick with Charity Lane as our idea of the winner.
Khachaturian (IRE) 20-1 (10-6) Tracked leader, led 2nd, ridden 2 out, fading when headed approaching last, 5th of 14, 3 1/2l behind Chief Yeoman (10-10) at Sandown 2m 6f hcp hdl Grd 3 (1) sft in Jan.
Mendo 7-1 (11-0) 5th when blundered and unseated rider at the 2nd in race won by Hennessy (11-0) at Folkestone 3m 1f beg chs (4) gd in Jan, 8 ran.
Midnight Chase 6-4fav (11-7) Close up, hit 5th, went 2nd after 3 out, soon ridden, stayed on well from last, led near finish, won at Fontwell 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy beating Maraafeq (10-10) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
Charity Lane (IRE) 1-4fav (11-5) Tracked leader, challenged 3 out, ridden to lead after 2 out, stayed on, ridden out, won at Chepstow 2m 4f nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec beating Baren De Doc (10-7) by 4l, 11 ran.
Ned Ludd (IRE) 25-1 (11-5) Raced wide, mistake 5th, always in rear, tailed off when, 17th of 19, well behind Royaleety (10-2) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Dec.
Portland Bill (IRE) 11-1 (11-2) In touch, hampered 2nd, headway to dispute 2nd from 7th, blundered 13th and 4 out, weakened and pulled up 3 out in race won by Strawberry (11-6) at Kempton 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs, 9 ran.
Captain Americo (IRE) 7-2 (11-7) Mid-division, ridden 6th, soon weakened, 8th of 13, 33l behind Oldrik (11-5) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Jan.
Snake Charmer 20-1 (10-10) Mid-division on outside, headway 9th, weakened after 3 out, 5th of 12, 20l behind Maktu (10-9) at Hereford 3m 2f hcp hdl (2) sft in Jan.