Mountainous was raised 7lb for winning the Welsh National at Chepstow and had earlier finished more than six lengths behind De La Bech over 3m here. The latter is 8lb better off today so should confirm that form, though he disappointed when made favourite over a longer trip at Cheltenham next time in a race in which Alfie Spinner finished second after making much of the running. Nick Williams' stayer deserves to win one of these but will probably find at least one too good again. Junior may not be the force of old but Flying Award won over this trip at Wincanton last month and Soll has bags of stamina. SMOKING ACES was second in the Sussex National and should be approaching peak fitness now. It must be an advantage to be carrying a featherweight in these conditions and the 10-year-old can win for the first time since joining the Jonjo O'Neill stable.
Junior 20-1 (11-12) With leaders, led 11th, headed briefly before 4 out, headed 4 out, ridden before 3 out, one pace, 3rd of 8, 6l behind Pineau De Re (10-11) at Exeter 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) sft in Jan.
Mountainous (IRE) 20-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders on inside, challenged 4 out, led after 2 out, all out, won at Chepstow 3m 5f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) hvy in Dec beating Hawkes Point (10-0) by hd, 20 ran.
Soll 16-1 (11-3) Chased leaders, went 2nd approaching 20th, led soon after 4 out, headed 3 out, chased leader until before 2 out, plugged on same pace before last, 5th of 13, 5l behind There's No Panic (10-7) at Sandown 3m 5f hcp chs 0-150 (2) gd in Dec.
Sir Du Bearn (FR) 10-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, mistake 6th, headway 14th, 4th and beaten last (normal 2 out), stayed on towards finish, 4th of 10, 5l behind Across The Bay (11-12) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy in Dec.
Alfie Spinner (IRE) 7-1 (11-1) Prominent, led 3rd, ridden and headed on long run to last, stayed on same pace, no impression, 2nd of 13, 5l behind Mendip Express (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m 2f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Jan.
De La Bech 5-1fav (11-1) Prominent, mistake and lost place 2nd (water), reminder after 5th, mistake 7th, well beaten 10th, 6th of 13, 36l behind Mendip Express (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m 2f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Jan.
Hunters Lodge (IRE) 17-2 (10-10) Held up in rear, struggling 16th, went 5th before last (normal 2 out), stayed on final 150 yards, never on terms with leaders, 5th of 10, 5l behind Across The Bay (11-12) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy in Dec.
Emperor's Choice (IRE) 8-1 (10-4) Mid-division, jumped left 12th, ridden before 16th, 6th 5 out, no impression, 7th of 15, 22l behind Shotgun Paddy (11-7) at Warwick 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Jan.
Flying Award (IRE) 14-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, headway 5 out, went 3rd before and hit 3 out, challenged last, kept on to lead close home, won at Wincanton 3m 3f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan beating Samstown (10-7) by nk, 9 ran.
Bob Ford (IRE) 3-1fav (10-11) Took keen hold and hung left, led until before 10th, weakened approaching last (normal 2 out), 7th of 10, 33l behind Across The Bay (11-12) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy in Dec.
Smoking Aces (IRE) 7-2fav (11-5) In rear and mistakes, pushed along 5th, headway before 12th, chased winner before last, kept on and no impression, 2nd of 9, 4 1/2l behind Reblis (10-13) at Plumpton 3m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Firebird Flyer (IRE) 10-1 (11-4) Held up in rear but in touch, pushed along after 8th, went moderate 4th before 10th, 4th of 6, 34l behind Theatrical Star (11-12) at Taunton 2m 7f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec.
Ringa Bay 10-1 (10-10) Chased leaders, ridden after 13th, went left next, kept on same pace from 3 out, went 4th close home and just missed 3rd, 4th of 11, 21l behind Restless Harry (11-5) at Newbury 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Jan.