Mendip Express looks very harshly treated for landing a couple of novice events in November as he's facing tried and tested staying handicappers here. A few of these are old rivals with Alvarado finishing almost four lengths ahead of stablemate Bradley over a longer trip here in November. The latter is now 7lb better off, however, though has since finished behind Alfie Spinner over 3m5f at Sandown. Handy Andy normally goes well here but was pulled up at Newbury last time and probably won't get his own way out in front today. De La Bech had Welsh National winner Mountainous back in third when scoring at Chepstow and should go well but there was a lot of confidence behind RESTLESS HARRY in the Mandarin at Newbury last Saturday. Thrown in on his best form, he was brought down early on but could be worth another chance turned out again quickly.
Mendip Express (IRE) 3-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, led on bit approaching 2 out, mistake last, stayed on well, won at Bangor 3m nov chs (3) sft in Nov beating Bob Ford (10-11) by 2l, 5 ran.
Alvarado (IRE) 12-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear on inside, switched outside and headway before 3 out, 5th and ridden approaching last, stayed on to lead flat, ran on, won at Cheltenham 3m 3f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov beating Knockara Beau (10-13) by 2l, 13 ran.
Quinz (FR) 20-1 (11-5) Close up, led 4th, hit 10th, headed 5 out, soon weakened, 8th of 11, 45l behind Cantlow (11-5) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs (2) gs in Nov.
Bradley 11-2 (10-6) Not fluent, always towards rear and never on terms, 9th of 13, 16l behind There's No Panic (10-7) at Sandown 3m 5f hcp chs 0-150 (2) gd in Dec.
Pigeon Island 12-1 (10-10) Held up, outpaced 4 out, stayed on from 2 out, went 3rd towards finish, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 9, 18l behind Monbeg Dude (11-0) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Dec.
Handy Andy (IRE) 6-1 (11-8) Chased leaders, pushed along and losing place when mistake 13th, weakened, tailed off and pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Tatenen (11-5) at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Nov, 18 ran.
De La Bech 4-1 (10-2) Disputed lead, led 12th, ridden before 3 out, kept on under pressure from next, held on towards finish, won at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Dec beating The Druids Nephew (10-8) by 1/2l, 8 ran.
Alfie Spinner (IRE) 7-1 (10-5) Led and disputed, headed 18th, chased leaders, rallied to dispute 2nd before 3 out, soon driven in 5th, kept on flat, took 4th final 100 yards, 4th of 13, 2 3/4l behind There's No Panic (10-7) at Sandown 3m 5f hcp chs 0-150 (2) gd in Dec.
Ballypatrick (IRE) 7-1 (11-11) Held up towards rear, headway 10th, weakened from 5 out, pulled up, in a race won by Major Malarkey (11-5) at Exeter 4m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Dec, 12 ran.
Restless Harry 7-2fav (11-4) Held up, badly hampered and unseated rider 6th, in a race won by Financial Climate (10-9) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Dec, 7 ran.
Allthekingshorses (IRE) 15-8fav (11-12) Not fluent, held up in rear, mistakes 3rd and next, mistake 11th, steady headway 16th, ridden and struggling when left in modest 4th 4 out, went modest 3rd before hit 3 out, left 2nd and hampered last, 2nd of 7, 9l behind Buck's Bond (11-6) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Dec.
Our Island (IRE) 6-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, reminders 5th, slow next struggling halfway, blundered 14th, steady headway from next, staying on when jumped left 2 out, never nearer, 5th of 11, 34l behind Nuts N Bolts (11-11) at Haydock 3m 5f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Nov.
Bendant 11-4 (11-8) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 6th, challenged 14th, soon led, well in command last, comfortably, won at Ffos Las 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Nov beating Armedanddangerous (11-5) by 10l, 4 ran.