DOBERDAN is just 3lb higher than when scoring over the C&D a year ago and looked on the way back at Wetherby last time so looks the one to be on. Vardas Supreme is still a maiden over fences but is getting closer and wasn't beaten far at Hexham last time. Saddle Pack is 10lb higher than when last successful but has needed his two recent runs and shouldn't be dismissed nor should Irish raider Whisky Galore, who would have a chance on his hurdling form and has been lightly raced over fences. Transact looked promising when scoring twice at Newcastle last season but has a long absence to overcome.
Whisky Galore 13-2 (10-13) Chased leaders, 8th halfway, 7th and in touch when brought down 4 out, in a race won by Urban Gale (11-3) at Downpatrick 2m 2f hcp chs 0-102 sft in Nov, 9 ran.
Highland Love 14-1 (11-12) Tracking leaders when fell 1st, in a race won by Strobe (11-2) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Nov, 8 ran.
Saddle Pack (IRE) 6-1 (10-3) Held up towards rear, outpaced when hampered and almost unseated rider 3 out, never near leaders, 6th of 9, 36l behind Swift Arrow (11-6) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Nov.
Or d'Oudairies (FR) 20-1 (11-0) In rear, went poor 4th before 4 out, ridden before 2 out, one pace and no impression, 4th of 6, 20l behind Noble Legend (11-3) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Oct.
Transact (IRE) 4-1 (11-5) Chased leader, ridden 4 out, weakened approaching 2 out, moderate 5th, 5th of 7, well behind Sambelucky (10-9) at Newcastle 2m nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd in Mar.
Doberdan (USA) 12-1 (10-10) Prominent, raced wide, lost place after 6th, rallied 4 out, soon chasing winner, stayed on, 2nd of 6, 5l behind Billy Cuckoo (11-2) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft in Nov.
Emirate Isle 25-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, not fluent 3 out, soon ridden, weakened before next, 10th of 13, 40l behind Anna's Arch (11-9) at Sedgefield 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gd in Nov.
Brave Spartacus (IRE) 3-1fav (11-2) Went right start and slowly away, held up in rear, mistake 4th, headway when not fluent 8th, lost place when mistake 12th, weakened next, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Strobe (11-2) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Nov, 8 ran.
Vardas Supreme (IRE) 6-1 (11-5) Tracked leader, mistake 3rd, jumped right and slow 7th, chased leader before last until no extra last 100 yards, 3rd of 5, 2 3/4l behind Samson Collonges (10-7) at Hexham 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) hvy in Nov.
Turf Trivia 7-1 (10-10) Jumped right at times, with leader, led 2nd until before 9th, no impression in 3rd from 3 out, weakened last, 5th of 8, 26l behind Strobe (11-2) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Nov.
Pen Gwen (FR) 8-1 (10-7) Led, mistake 3rd, headed 4th, soon in rear, headway before and mistake 2 out, kept on from last, went 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 6, 21l behind Ibn Hiyyan (10-11) at Hexham 2m hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Nov.
Archie's Wish 16-1 (10-0) Held up in touch, under pressure 10th, soon weakened, behind when pulled up 4 out, in a race won by Billy Cuckoo (11-2) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft in Nov, 6 ran.
Appeal Denied (IRE) 25-1 (9-9) Jumped slowly 2nd, tracked leading pair, lost place after 7th, behind when blundered 9th, not recover, pulled up before next, in a race won by Emperor Charlie (10-2) at Newcastle 2m 4f 5yo nov hcp (4) gd in Mar, 6 ran.