Ability to handle bottomless ground could be key in this. Fog Patches ticks the right boxes on that score but, though eased in grade, he'll not find it easy to lug his big weight around here. SAMSON COLLONGES looks in good heart having just failed to overhaul Smart Exit on heavy going at Towcester when racing from out of the handicap. He's effectively a pound lower here and, with Tony Kelly taking off 3lb again, can go one better. Alexander Oats would have a chance on his best form but Paudi The Punter disappointed again when favourite at Down Royal and Lord Fox is 7lb higher than when second to Arc Warrior here at the start of the month. Oil Burner may be best of the rest.
Fog Patches (IRE) 3-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders, ridden when mistake 2 out, disputing 4th and beaten when mistake last, 4th of 5, 9l behind Or de Grugy (11-6) at Kelso 2m 7f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Oil Burner 5-1 (9-13) Held up towards rear, pecked 6th, pushed along before 4 out, soon reminders, kept on to take 3rd place towards finish, 3rd of 7, 14l behind Wicklow Lad (10-11) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy.
Paudi The Punter (IRE) 4-1fav (11-2) Mid-division, progress into 6th before 4 out, ridden and no impression entering straight, kept on one pace, 6th of 16, 31l behind Refused A Name (10-10) at Down Royal 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 sft in Dec.
Lord Fox (IRE) 9-2 (10-6) Held up mid-division, tracked leaders from 3rd, led 4 out, ridden before 2 out, headed last, kept on, 2nd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Arc Warrior (10-7) at Ayr 3m 1f hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy.
Cottiers Den (IRE) 40-1 (10-2) Prominent, every chance when fell 2 out, in a race won by Clondaw Flicka (11-12) at Wetherby 3m 1f nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Dec, 11 ran.
Too Cool To Fool (IRE) 6-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders in 4th, went 2nd from 3 out until next, one pace, 3rd of 8, 23l behind Arc Warrior (10-7) at Ayr 3m 1f hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy.
Fozy Moss 5-1 (10-6) Close up, mistake 9th, soon lost place, 7th of 8, well behind Arc Warrior (10-7) at Ayr 3m 1f hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy.
Alexander Oats 9-1 (10-9) In rear, some headway from 3 out, soon ridden, no impression, 4th of 8, 27l behind Arc Warrior (10-7) at Ayr 3m 1f hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy.
Sam Patch 16-1 (10-1) In rear, pecked 3rd, ridden 9th, well beaten 13th, soon pulled up, in a race won by Borolee (10-8) at Kelso 2m 7f (5) gd in May, 14 ran.
Samson Collonges (FR) 14-1 (9-11) Tracked leader, with leader 9th, ridden 2 out, kept on from last, 2nd of 10, nk behind Smart Exit (11-9) at Towcester 3m hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy.
The Shrimp (IRE) 17-2 (10-0) Led to 3rd, mistake 7th, pushed along and reminders after 10th, weakened from 5 out, 5th of 8, 30l behind Oh Right (10-3) at Musselburgh 3m cond hcp chs (5) gs.
Cherry's Bay 40-1 (10-7) Tracked leader, mistake 1st, pushed along before 9th, soon weakened and reminders, tailed off 11th, left 2nd 4 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 3, well behind Swatow Typhoon (11-7) at Ayr 3m 1f nov chs (4) hvy.