Sammy Spiderman has registered all four career wins over these fences with the latest coming last March off a 2lb lower mark. A better effort last time suggests he'll go close today, but a chance is taken on the returning BALLYCARRON LAD. He finished fourth in a better contest at Perth last April and had today's rival Quinder Spring behind when scoring at Carlisle before that. This looks an easier task and he gets the nod. Duke Of Malfi has the past form to figure but has been out of sorts since returning to action and recent Catterick third Allanard is preferred with a first time visor applied.
Quinder Spring (FR) 15-2 (11-9) Close up, led briefly before and blundered 4 out, every chance 3 out, ridden and weakened before 2 out, 4th of 11, 27l behind Apache Blue (10-9) at Catterick 3m 1f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gd in Nov.
Ballycarron Lad (IRE) 8-1 (10-13) Pressed winner, led briefly 11th, ridden 4 out, weakened 2 out, 4th of 12, 16l behind Petite Margot (10-6) at Perth 3m 7f hcp chs 0-120 (3) gd in Apr.
Duke of Malfi 20-1 (10-1) Behind, under pressure 8th, headway 3 out, moderate 5th, 5th of 8, 32l behind Primrose Time (10-5) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Allanard (IRE) 9-2 (11-7) Close up, led 8th, jumped right and headed 14th, one pace from 3 out, 3rd of 7, 10l behind Apache Blue (11-11) at Catterick 3m 1f hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Dec.
Ishlana 50-1 (10-5) Prominent, lost place and pulled up before 9th, in a race won by Jolily (11-5) at Thurles 3m hcp chs 0-102 hvy in Dec, 17 ran.
Maple Valley Gale (IRE) 33-1 (10-7) Mid-division, 10th halfway, weakened before 4 out, unseated rider last, in a race won by Not Before Eight (11-2) at Downpatrick 2m 5f hnt chs in Dec, 15 ran.
Sammy Spiderman 12-1 (10-3) Tracked leaders, outpaced 5 out, chased leading pair under pressure 3 out, stayed on to go 2nd towards finish, no impression, 2nd of 8, 3 1/2l behind Playing The Field (11-3) at Newcastle 3m hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft.