HOLD ON JULIO finished fifth to Bob's Worth in the Hennessy at Newbury in a race in which Roberto Goldback unseated his rider around halfway when still in touch. Alan King's nine-year-old can open his account for the season now, though the top weight did win over this C&D on his reappearance and shouldn't be ignored. Ackertac is another recent course winner but he has a poor strike-rate over fences while Wetherby winner Wyck Hill races from 6lb out of the handicap and is upped in grade. Hey Big Spender won't fail through lack of stamina but has been off the track for a while and Katenko has much to prove at present.
Roberto Goldback (IRE) 33-1 (11-3) In touch when blundered and unseated rider 14th, in a race won by Bobs Worth (11-6) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs, 19 ran.
Hey Big Spender (IRE) 14-1 (11-12) Held up in rear, headway approaching 16th, challenged last, led flat, driven out, won at Warwick 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Jan beating Fredo (10-0) by 3/4l, 13 ran.
Hold On Julio (IRE) 8-1 (10-8) Mid-division, ridden and outpaced 16th, kept on under pressure from last, never nearer, 5th of 19, 27l behind Bobs Worth (11-6) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs.
Ackertac (IRE) 8-1 (11-11) Tracked leaders, bumped 3rd, closed 5th, reminder 8th, 3rd and ridden when hampered 4 out, went 2nd before 2 out, led approaching last, stayed on, hung left close home, won at Ascot 2m 3f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Nov beating Vino Griego (11-6) by 2 1/2l, 10 ran.
Katenko (FR) 25-1 (10-13) Held up mid-division, headway 4 out, ridden 3 out, soon weakened, 11th of 16, 47l behind Trustan Times (11-12) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Nov.
Wyck Hill (IRE) 3-1 (11-4) Made all, pressed from 3 out, strongly challenged after last, held on gamely (2 fences ommited), won at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Nov beating Fill The Power (11-7) by 1/2l, 9 ran.