Despite the lurking presence of the potentially well-treated Reve De Sivola, the percentage call has to lie with the ultra-consistent and likeable VIRAK (best price 5/1)
at a track where he has an unblemished record. On the two visits to the Lancashire venue, Paul Nichols’ inmate has been successful, so it’s clear that he goes particularly well on a flat, galloping track (other notable victory last season came at Doncaster). The son of Bernebeau has had the misfortune to bump into the ultra-tough Wakanda on his last two starts, but on each occasion he lost nothing in defeat and if he’d obtained a clearer run in the closing stages of their latest encounter at Ascot, it may well have been a different story. Although lumbered with top weight, he has the very useful Harry Cobden to ease the burden and as he looks one of the few sure to run his race under the conditions, odds of 5/1 make plenty of each-way appeal.