Hakes Point is largely unexposed and was quite highly tried as a novice. There may be more to come this season while Quartz De Thaix should strip fitter for his run at Bangor, though still looks a few pounds too high. MOUNTAINOUS finished ahead of the Katter at Bangor and won a beginners' chase at this meeting last year. He might have preferred an easier surface but his yard is in decent form and has every chance of adding to his tally over fences here. Viking Blond is tumbling down the weights has been woefully out of form lately while The Druids Nephew is hard to win with. De La Bech still has plenty of scope over fences, however, and is preferred to Wetherby fourth Triptico and the disappointing Havingotascoobydo, who fell at Wincanton on Thursday.
Quartz de Thaix (FR) 10-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, went remote 5th before 2 out, never dangerous, 5th of 9, 33l behind Midnight Appeal (10-10) at Bangor 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) hvy in Nov.
Hawkes Point 20-1 (11-6) Mid-division, reminder 21st, outpaced before 3 out, soon weakened, pulled up before next, in a race won by Back In Focus (11-6) at Cheltenham 4m am nov chs (2) gs in Mar, 16 ran.
The Druids Nephew (IRE) 5-1 (11-4) Fell 1st, in a race won by Tatenen (11-5) at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Nov, 18 ran.
Mountainous (IRE) 11-1 (10-11) Held up mid-division in 4th, went 2nd before 3 out until before last, weakened run-in, 3rd of 9, 14l behind Midnight Appeal (10-10) at Bangor 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) hvy in Nov.
Viking Blond (FR) 20-1 (11-2) Jumped slowly 1st, soon behind and never travelled with any fluency after, blundered and unseated rider 12th, in a race won by Balthazar King (11-8) at Cheltenham 3m 7f crs cntry chs (5yo+) (2) gd in Nov, 11 ran.
Triptico (FR) 9-1 (10-10) Towards rear, blundered 5th, blundered 7th, one pace before 3 out, 4th of 12, 15l behind Ultimate (11-2) at Wetherby 2m 4f Listed Handicap Chase (0-155) (4yo+) (1) gs in Nov.
De La Bech 7-1 (10-9) Towards rear, mistake 5th, struggling 11th, never dangerous, 7th of 13, 25l behind Standing Ovation (10-2) at Wincanton 3m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gs in Nov.
Havingotascoobydo (IRE) 9-1 (11-10) Held up, fell 3rd, in a race won by Buck's Bond (11-6) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd, 7 ran.