Black Thunder, a very useful handicap hurdler for Ditcheat, made a successful transition to fences when emerging victorious from a prolonged battle with Fox Appeal at Plumpton. He'll surely improve for that experience as will Many Clouds, who created a taking impression when staying on powerfully up the daunting Carlisle straight to record a winning debut over fences. He should stay this trip and is well respected. However, SHOTGUN PADDY could not have been more impressive when putting the strongly-touted Just A Par to the sword on their respective chasing debuts at Chepstow, the style of which indicated that Emma Lavelle has a really useful prospect on her hands. He is just preferred in a fascinating contest. Don't rule out Up And Go either on his chasing debut. He developed in a really useful novice hurdler last term, looks just the sort to make his mark over fences and receives 5lb from his three race-fit rivals.
Black Thunder (FR) 11-4 (11-3) Tracked leaders in 4th, went 2nd before 3 out, soon challenged, pressed leader last, kept on to lead towards finish, won at Fontwell 2m 4f beg chs (4) sft in Oct beating Fox Appeal (11-3) by nk, 6 ran.
Many Clouds (IRE) 5-2 (11-2) Prominent, not much room 2nd, led before 4th, jumped right 4 out, ridden and edged left flat, stayed on well, won at Carlisle 2m 4f beg chs (4) hvy beating Knock A Hand (11-2) by 2 1/4l, 4 ran.
Shotgun Paddy (IRE) 7-2 (11-4) Took keen hold tracking leading pair, slightly hampered 4th, went 2nd 8th, led next, hit 3 out, clear before next, stayed on strongly, easily, won at Chepstow 3m nov chs (4) sft in Oct beating Just A Par (11-4) by 13l, 5 ran.
Up And Go (FR) 15-8fav (11-4) Led, ridden and headed approaching 3 out, weakened before next, tailed off, 6th of 8, well behind Ubak (11-4) at Aintree 2m 4f nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Apr.