CYRIL THE SQUIRREL is worth sticking with here. Karen George's charge has done nothing but improve this year, winning three times with two of those victories coming over C&D. He beat today's rival Join Up on both occasions and there is nothing to suggest the latter can reverse the form. He also beat Lujano here three weeks ago and Ollie Pears' gelding could prove a bigger threat if first-time blinkers work the oracle. Chookie Avon makes most appeal of the remainder.
Cyril The Squirrel 9-2 (9-3) Tracked leader, ridden to lead approaching final furlong, kept on well, won at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Nov beating Join Up (8-13) by 1 3/4l, 7 ran.
Chookie Avon 10-1 (9-5) Chased leaders, ridden and hung left over 1f out, kept on towards finish, 4th of 11, 2l behind Saddlers Bend (9-1) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Nov.
Lujano 11-4fav (9-6) Led, headed approaching 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 4th of 7, 3l behind Cyril The Squirrel (9-3) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Nov.
Special Cuvee 14-1 (9-3) Slowly into stride, held up in rear, headway over 2f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong, 5th of 12, 5l behind New Beginning (9-3) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f sell stks (6) pol in Nov.
Join Up 11-4 (8-12) Took keen hold, chased leaders, ran on to chase winner inside final furlong, no impression, 2nd of 8, 2 1/4l behind Shamarlane (9-1) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp (6) pol in Nov.
Shark Man (IRE) 16-1 (9-0) Led early, tracked leaders, chased leader over 3f out, ridden to lead over 1f out, driven, headed and hung left inside final furlong, kept on, 3rd of 9, 2 1/2l behind Love In The Park (9-0) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp (6) pol in Nov.
Mackintosh (IRE) 66-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, headway going well over 2f out, not clear run briefly well over 1f out, ridden and found nil inside final furlong, 7th of 13, 8l behind Master Of Light (9-0) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-50 (7) pol in Oct.
Hedgerow (IRE) 20-1 (8-12) Led, clear 4f out, headed over 2f out, soon weakened and eased, 10th of 11, well behind Albertus Pictor (9-3) at Lingfield 1m 2f 3yo mdn stks (5) pol in Nov.
Bobering 66-1 (8-2) Always in rear, 11th of 12, 12l behind Saddlers Bend (8-4) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Mar.
Almowj 100-1 (9-3) Held up, weakened over 3f out, 7th of 12, 19l behind Don Pietro (8-12) at Bath 1m 2f 4yo sell stks (6) gd in Jul '09.
Gibraltar Lass (USA) 66-1 (8-12) Chased leaders on inside, ridden 2f out, weakened inside final 2f, 8th of 14, 11l behind Room For A View (8-12) at Kempton 1m mdn auc stks (6) pol in Nov.