IN SUMMARY: It’s very difficult to look past RED VERDON, who has put up some very good performances in tougher contests than this previously. He held on gamely to win a Listed race at Kempton in November and that performance sees him as the one to beat, despite having to concede three pounds to his rivals. The main danger may come from Calling Out, who is unexposed at the middle distances and should have more to offer.
Red Verdon | J: Kieran Shoemark T: Ed Dunlop
Classy on his day and was last seen winning a Listed race at Kempton in good style. He is the highest rated of these and has a good record on the all weather. This is his optimum trip and despite having to concede three pounds to all his rivals, he's going to be very tough to stop.
Calling Out | J: Sean Levey T: David Simcock
Seven year old who has proven inconsistent throughout his career, but his latest third over 1m 2f was a creditable effort. A step back up in trip promises further and he's completely unexposed at this distance. He does have something to find on the figures, but he stays well and couldn't be discounted.
Celestial Path | J: Luke Morris T: David Pipe
Has not been seen on the flat since September 2016, where he was sixth in the Cambridgeshire. At his very best, he has a big form chance and he does go well fresh, but three hurdling runs in the summer were disappointing. His best flat form is over the mile and he does have more to prove than his rivals.
Great Hall | J: Fran Berry T: Mick Quinn
Progressive last season, winning three of his last four runs. He was far from disgraced in a Group 3 when last seen and he's proven himself over this course and distance previously. He has a fair record fresh and is weighted to give Red Verdon a real fight, so he's one to consider seriously.