Lucy Gardner's claim on board Flying Award has swung things her mount's way on several occasions but the ten-year-old, who stays extreme distances, would prefer easier conditions. Kris Cross had been in fine form before jumping poorly and pulling up at Uttoxeter while De La Bech had to be pushed along from the start at Sandown so did well to get so close. Merlin's Wish is another who may find the going too quick for him but FREDO won't mind the conditions and his close third behind Hey Big Spender in veteran's event at Ascot may be good enough.
Flying Award (IRE) 9-2 (11-7) Held up in touch, closed 9th, went 2nd 14th, led before 4 out, stayed on well, won at Exeter 3m 6f hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Mar beating Coolking (11-3) by 3l, 7 ran.
Kris Cross (IRE) 10-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders lost place 13th, weakened 4 out, behind when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Bold Chief (11-8) at Uttoxeter 3m (3) gs in Mar, 10 ran.
De La Bech 11-2 (11-5) Ran in snatches, chased leaders and early reminders, went 3rd after 12th, went 2nd 16th, ridden and no impression when dropped to 3rd between last 2, 2nd again last until 100 yards out, 3rd of 8, 4 1/2l behind Chartreux (11-5) at Sandown 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Mar.
Reblis (FR) 20-1 (11-5) Always towards rear, tailed off, 12th of 13, well behind Roalco De Farges (11-2) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Mar.
Merlin's Wish 33-1 (11-6) Prominent, lost place when fell 12th, in a race won by Midnight Prayer (11-6) at Cheltenham 4m Listed Amateur Novice Chase (5yo+) (1) gs in Mar, 15 ran.
Handy Andy (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, not fluent 2nd, not fluent and lost touch from 10th, plugged on from 2 out, no chance, 6th of 9, 32l behind On Trend (11-2) at Exeter 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Mar.
Major Malarkey (IRE) 33-1 (10-8) Behind, struggling in rear 14th, moderate progress 2 out, 7th of 13, 19l behind Roalco De Farges (11-2) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Mar.
Top Smart 20-1 (10-3) Always toward srear, last and struggling 12th, never involved, 11th of 13, 23l behind There's No Panic (10-7) at Sandown 3m 5f hcp chs 0-150 (2) gd in Dec.
Fredo (IRE) 6-1 (9-11) Chased leaders, mistake 16th, driven to challenge when not fluent 2 out, stayed on well under pressure, 3rd of 12, 3 1/2l behind Hey Big Spender (11-12) at Ascot 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) gd in Mar.
Rebeccas Choice (IRE) 7-2 (11-7) Towards rear, headway out to chase leaders, ridden before 4 out, kept on from 2 out, 3rd of 6, 4 1/2l behind Barlow (11-12) at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Mar.
Susquehanna River (IRE) 9-1 (11-12) Led until 7th, led 9th, headed before 4 out, ridden after 3 out, one pace and beaten last, 3rd of 9, 8l behind Miss Saffron (10-3) at Exeter 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Mar.
Bally Sands (IRE) 11-2 (10-2) Prominent, not fluent 13th, hit 12th, weakened after 2 out, 3rd of 8, 17l behind Talkonthestreet (11-9) at Stratford 3m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Mar.