CATEGORICAL has won from a higher mark than this in the past and looked back to something like his best at Aintree last time when a close third to Jamsie Hall in a much better race than this. He'll take some beating from the same mark here. O'Callaghan Strand hasn't run well on his two starts since returning from a break though he's only 6lb higher than his victory at Ludlow in January. Honest John completed a double at this time a year ago, though he's been jumping poorly subsequently, and Everaard likes a flat track and quick ground so today's conditions should enable him to get involved.
O'callaghan Strand (AUS) 7-1 (11-11) Held up in touch, driven to chase leaders before 4 out, soon no impression, weakened from next, 5th of 8, 24l behind Plein Pouvoir (11-12) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Nov.
Nodform Richard 7-1 (11-5) Held up mid-division, dropped rear before 10th, pushed along 12th, weakened 5 out, last of 7, well behind Royale Knight (10-0) at Kelso 3m 2f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gf in May.
Categorical 12-1 (10-0) Held up in rear, jumped right and hampered 1st, jumped slowly 5th, not fluent 10th, mistake 13th, stayed on from 2 out, went 3rd approaching last, no impression close home, 3rd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Jamsie Hall (11-5) at Aintree 3m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Oct.
Honest John 6-1 (11-0) Held up, blundered and unseated rider 12th, in a race won by Italian Master (11-12) at Market Rasen 3m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Nov, 10 ran.
Everaard (USA) 9-1 (11-6) Led, pushed along before 8th, soon headed and weakened, soon pulled up, in a race won by Solway Bay (10-4) at Perth 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in Jul, 8 ran.
Noble Witness (IRE) 33-1 (11-2) Tracked leader until led after 1st, headed before 9th, lost 2nd after 3 out, soon beaten, 4th of 6, 46l behind Connectivity (11-4) at Southwell 3m clm hdl (5) sft in Nov.