MUSICAL WEDGE suffered a narrow margin defeat over these fences last time having won at Taunton in November. A conditional's claim negates another 4lb rise and he can confirm latest running with Lupita and land this. Thomas Wild is up 8lb for his C&D victory but that was back in March last year and last month's Bangor winner Flying Award makes more appeal as he returns to a shorter trip. Quinte du Chatelet has yet to win over fences but has slipped down the weights and showed a bit more at Fontwell last time.
Pericoloso (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Behind, slow and ridden 9th (water), mistake 14th, pushed along and struggling in 5th before 4 out, never involved, tailed off, 5th of 8, 43l behind Grandioso (11-0) at Wincanton 2m 5f beg chs (3) sft in Dec.
Flying Award (IRE) 6-5fav (11-3) Tracked leading pair, challenged for 2nd 4 out, outpaced and niggled along next, rallied to 2nd 2 out, led before mistake last, kept on flat, won at Bangor 3m 6f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec beating Acrai Rua (11-1) by 1 1/2l, 3 ran.
Meet The Critics (IRE) 12-1 (11-6) Held up, jumped right and got worse as race progressed, mistake 1st, closed after 11th, ridden when pecked 17th, soon outpaced, weakened 4 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Battlecry (10-8) at Newbury 3m 2f am hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Nov '11, 7 ran.
Quinte du Chatelet (FR) 20-1 (11-5) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd 4th, led 12th until 4 out, chased leader, no extra in 4th before last, 4th of 7, 11l behind Father Probus (11-2) at Fontwell 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Thomas Wild 6-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, hampered 4th, ridden to go 2nd 4 out, led 2 out, all out, won at Exeter 3m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Mar beating Bubbly Bruce (11-12) by ns, 8 ran.
Musical Wedge 11-4fav (11-8) Prominent, led 2nd, headed after next, ridden to challenge 4 out, every chance from 2 out, led closing stages, headed post, 2nd of 8, ns behind The Big Freeze (11-12) at Exeter 3m nov hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy in Dec.
Global Warming (IRE) 5-2fav (11-1) Chased leaders, blundered 3rd, ridden 4 out, outpaced before next, plugged on again flat, 4th of 8, 6l behind Handtheprizeover (11-9) at Wincanton 2m 5f cond hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft in Dec.
Forever My Friend (IRE) 15-8fav (11-12) Tracked winner, mistake 4 out, ridden in close 3rd when fell 2 out, in a race won by Thedreamstillalive (11-0) at Folkestone 2m 5f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd in Nov, 6 ran.
Lupita (IRE) 33-1 (10-0) Held up in rear, headway 5th, led next, headed approaching 8th, under pressure 4 out, weakended after 2 out, 3rd of 8, 11l behind The Big Freeze (11-12) at Exeter 3m nov hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy in Dec.