Razor Royale must be of interest given the mini-resurgence in form of the stable however narrow preference is for BACK AMONG FRIENDS ahead of Mister Watzisname. Jim Old's chaser is no superstar however he has run well here before. He is yet to win in eight chase starts however his second to Gauvain at Lingfield reads well and with the ground likely to suit, it is hard to see him being out of the frame. First Boy was a beaten favourite when last seen at Stratford in the summer. This former Declan Carroll inmate has his first start for an in-form Sue Smith yard today and it would be no real surprise to see him improve now jumping a fence. Mister Watzisname has faced some stiff company so far over fences in his three runs. It is no surprise to see him dropped back in trip today and this looks a lot less demanding company. Pertemps Network is rated 122 over hurdles so if transferring that level of form to fences is not without a chance and his young rider is in good form at the moment. Razor Royale has the make of a chaser and it would be no surprise to see him improve on his distant third in a hot race at Cheltenham. He was the best of these over hurdles however this drop in trip is a question mark and so it is Back Among Friends who is preferred.
Back Among Friends 16-1 (10-12) Led to 6th, in 3rd and outpaced when blundered 4 out, 4th of 5, 20l behind Doctor David (11-4) at Haydock 2m nov chs (3) sft in Dec.
Baskerville 80-1 (10-11) Held up in rear, no chance from 9th, well behind from 9th, 8th of 11, 46l behind Cornas (11-0) at Ludlow 2m beg chs (4) sft in Jan.
First Boy 85-40fav (10-9) In rear, not fluent 4th, pushed along 5th, headway 3 out, every chance 2 out, mistake last, not run on, 3rd of 14, 3 1/2l behind Bedizen (11-0) at Stratford 2m sll hdl (5) gd in Jul.
Mister Watzisname (IRE) 28-1 (11-0) Held up in touch, weakened approaching 4 out, behind when pulled up 2 out in race won by Will Be Done (11-4) at Haydock 2m 4f nov chs Grd 2 (1) sft in Jan, 6 ran.
Razor Royale (IRE) 2-1 (11-2) Held up, pecked 6th, went 3rd 11th, ridden after 12th, one pace when mistake 2 out, soon weakened, left modest 2nd last, tired and lost 3rd flat, 3rd of 7, 42l behind Shining Gale (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nov chs (2) sft in Nov.
Sea Robber (IRE) 12-1 (11-3) Mid-division until weakened 6th, tailed off and pulled up after last pulled up in race won by Tarkesar (11-4) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl (5) sft in Dec, 17 ran.
Pertemps Networks 16-1 (10-11) Held up, headway 3 out, driven and stayed on from next, 11th of 17, 28l behind Greenbelt (10-6) at Catterick 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Jan.