Harry Challoner gets on well with Guydus but Venetia Williams' mare was raised 6lb after winning over a longer trip at Wincanton on her reappearance and top weight SPOT THE BALL may have his revenge. He unseated Richie McClernon in that Wincanton contest but, reunited with McCoy, ran a lot better when chasing home Bishophill Jack at Towcester and may now be ready to strike. Mr Valentino was well beaten at Stratford and Leicester last month while winning pointer Ontheslate has yet to show much over fences under Rules so far and Duke Of Ormond is still going backwards.
Spot The Ball (IRE) 4-1 (11-8) Held up, reminder after 7th, steady headway approaching 10th, went 3rd after 3 out, chased winner before next, switched right after 2 out, stayed on same pace last, 2nd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Bishophill Jack (11-12) at Towcester 2m 6f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Nov.
Mr Valentino (IRE) 7-2fav (11-3) Held up, mistake 1st, pushed along after 5th, blundered 8th, behind 12th, tailed off, 7th of 8, well behind Red Rouble (11-10) at Leicester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gd in Nov.
Guydus (IRE) 6-1 (10-7) Reluctant to line up but well away, chased leading pair, went 2nd 6th, left in lead 13th (water), pushed along before 3 out, kept on well from last, won at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Oct beating Monty's Revenge (11-0) by 2l, 9 ran.
Ontheslate (IRE) 11-1 (10-2) Close up, mistake first, outpaced 11th, tailed off when blundered next and pulled up, in a race won by Loch Ba (11-5) at Kempton 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Nov, 9 ran.
Duke Of Ormond (IRE) 5-2 (10-2) Led, not fluent 2nd, reminder after 4th, ridden approaching 9th, headed 3 out, still every chance when hit 2 out, weakened flat, 5th of 7, 23l behind Overlay (10-5) at Fontwell 3m 3f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gs in Nov.