Holywell finally got off the mark over fences at the fourth time of asking at Catterick and that should have given his confidence a boost. He was a very useful staying hurdler, finishing second in the Grade 1 Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree last season and winning the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham when Top Of The Range was tailed off. The latter blotted his copy book when unseating his rider at Musselburgh last time having won at Ascot on his chasing bow and may be better over shorter trips. VICTOR HEWGO is jumping fences relatively late in life but has taken to the new challenge like a duck to water. He had more in the tank when winning by eight lengths over course and distance last month and should be tough to beat in this. Firm Order has much more experience than his rivals but usually finds at least one too good.
Firm Order (IRE) 6-1 (11-1) Held up in rear, mistake 4th, chased leaders halfway, driven to challenge after 2 out, hampered last, no extra flat, 2nd of 6, 1 3/4l behind Pete The Feat (11-12) at Fontwell 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Dec.
Holywell (IRE) 10-11fav (11-0) Held up in touch, went 3rd from 8th, went 2nd 3 out, led after next, kept on well run-in, won at Catterick 2m 3f beg chase (4) sft in Jan beating Shotavodka (11-0) by 4 1/2l, 5 ran.
Top Of The Range (IRE) 7-1 (11-3) Overjumped and unseated rider 1st, in a race won by Ericht (10-12) at Musselburgh 2m 4f nov chs (3) sft, 7 ran.
Victor Hewgo 6-4 (11-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, took closer order 7th, led briefly after 7th, lost place before 10th, headway 6 out, led before 2 out, ran on strongly from last, eased towards finish, won at Doncaster 3m nov chs (4) gs in Jan beating Dreamy George (11-0) by 8l, 7 ran.
Social Overdrive (IRE) 16-1 (10-7) Chased leader, challenged 10th, pushed along and lost 2nd after 3 out, weakened approaching next, left poor 3rd at the last, 3rd of 8, 19l behind Moss On The Mill (10-12) at Fakenham 2m 7f nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.