It would be no surprise to see a shock in this as the main contenders didn't jump well on their chasing debuts. However, HOLYWELL has to be given another chance as he was in a different class to these over hurdles. The Pertemps winner and runner-up to Solwhit in a Grade 1 at Aintree, he never jumped with any fluency on his chasing bow at Carlisle but the ground here will be much quicker which should be a help. Barrakilla is the obvious threat though he also made mistakes at Exeter. He is a point-to-point winner so should be capable of further improvement this season. Scarlet Fire has won a bumper and a novice hurdle but has always been more likely to make a chaser so he could figure with Forty Crown looking the best of the remainder.
Barrakilla (IRE) 3-1 (11-3) Held up in touch, effort approaching 4 out, hung left and no extra 3 out, blundered 2 out, left 4th at the last, 4th of 6, 3 1/2l behind Red Riverman (10-9) at Exeter 2m 1f (3) gs in Oct.
Croco Bay (IRE) 13-2 (11-7) Led, not fluent 8th, soon headed, weakened after 3 out, mistake 2 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Killala Quay (10-12) at Aintree 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Jun, 8 ran.
Forty Crown (IRE) 7-1 (10-11) Held up mid-division, went 4th before 3 out, soon outpaced, no impression from next, 5th of 10, 16l behind Flicka Williams (11-12) at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Nov.
Hi George 7-2fav (11-10) Tracked leaders, hit 5th, led before last, ridden and headed run-in, kept on and lost 2nd place towards finish, 3rd of 10, 2l behind Cruachan (10-6) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Jun.
Holywell (IRE) 4-5fav (11-2) Prominent, jumped left, mistake and lost place 2nd, jumped left at times after, not fluent 4th, slow 5th, not fluent 8th and given reminder, driven along before 4 out, no impression, went 3rd from last, 3rd of 4, 9l behind Many Clouds (11-2) at Carlisle 2m 4f beg chs (4) hvy in Nov.
Jukebox Melody (IRE) 20-1 (11-4) Towards rear, mistake and unseated rider 7 out, in a race won by Hollow Blue Sky (11-2) at Carlisle 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Oct, 14 ran.
Scarlet Fire (IRE) 40-1 (10-13) Towards rear, outpaced 4 out, never dangerous, 10th of 20, 43l behind Thomas Crapper (11-3) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Nov.
Son Of Flicka 9-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, slow 10th, soon weakened, behind when pulled up 2 out, in a race won by Dursey Sound (10-12) at Bangor 2m 4f nov chs (4) gs in Oct, 7 ran.
Star In Flight 18-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, went 2nd after 3rd, led before 5th, headed next, mistake 3 out, soon weakened, 4th of 9, 47l behind Up To Something (11-5) at Carlisle 2m (3) gd in Oct.