Pendra is tried in a handicap after a couple of victories in minor company. His lack of experience may count against him tackling some useful 2m chasers including the last two winners of this, Ulck Du Lin and King Edmund. Consigliere and Gus Macrae are also course and distance winners but neither have been in the best of form so far this season. The Cockney Mackem often starts slowly, though they may not be too much of a disadvantage in a race in which there are no obvious front-runners. LANCETTO wasn't beaten far in a couple of races over track and trip last month and was second at Ludlow last time. He gets little respite from the handicapper but should give supporters a run for their money again and is preferred to Grey Gold, who possibly needs further, and Elenika.
Ulck Du Lin (FR) 9-1 (11-11) Blundered 1st, towards rear, some headway approaching 2 out, soon beaten, 8th of 11, 21l behind Filbert (10-8) at Newbury 2m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov.
Pendra (IRE) 1-6fav (11-7) Tracked leader, went badly left 1st, challenged 6th, led approaching 8th, clear 2 out, easily, won at Lingfield 2m nov chs (4) hvy in Nov beating Marcus Antonius (11-0) by 2 1/2l, 5 ran.
Consigliere (FR) 33-1 (11-0) Always towards rear, ridden and plugged on flat, never involved, 6th of 11, 18l behind Filbert (10-8) at Newbury 2m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov.
King Edmund 7-1 (11-12) Soon behind and outpaced, driven from 5th, plugged on from 4 out, ridden flat, kept on to take moderate 3rd near finish, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 7, 13l behind Oscar Hill (11-9) at Ludlow 2m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd.
Grey Gold (IRE) 9-2 (11-6) Held up in touch in rear, went 2nd before 4 out, no impression on winner 2 out, lost 2nd flat, 3rd of 5, 12l behind Cloudy Too (11-6) at Carlisle 2m 4f Listed chs (1) hvy in Nov.
Lancetto (FR) 4-1 (11-8) Tracked winner, challenged 5 out, driven and outpaced before next, soon ridden, 3 lengths down in clear 2nd 3 out, kept on under pressure flat, held towards finsish, 2nd of 7, 1 3/4l behind Oscar Hill (11-9) at Ludlow 2m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd.
The Cockney Mackem (IRE) 28-1 (11-2) Held up in touch in rear, not fluent 7th (water), closed after 3 out, pressed for 3rd from next, no impression on leaders, stayed on same pace, 4th of 5, 9l behind Dodging Bullets (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m nov chs Grade 2 (1) gd in Nov.
Elenika (FR) 6-1 (10-9) Held up in rear, steady headway approaching 9th, chased leaders 4 out, weakened and not fluent next, plugged on again flat, 5th of 11, 14l behind Filbert (10-8) at Newbury 2m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov.
Gus Macrae (IRE) 20-1 (10-4) Chased leaders, went 2nd after 12th, led briefly approaching 3 out, chased leaders, ridden and weakened before last, 10th of 18, 19l behind Tatenen (11-5) at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Nov.
The Sneezer (IRE) 33-1 (10-5) Took keen hold, held up, jumped right, headway to lead 1st, mistake 5th, soon headed, weakened 8th, pulled up before 10th, in a race won by Paddy The Hare (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gf in Jul, 9 ran.