Ros Castle won on very heavy ground at Kelso before a very good effort at Newcastle where the going may just have been too quick. HIGHRATE didn't have too much to do to make a winning chase debut at Hexham but jumped well and did it nicely. There's more to come and he can follow-up though Prince Buster's experience could count over these fences and Weston Lodge is better than he's shown to date. Sandynow could prove the main threat as he loves heavy ground and will be better for a recent run at Warwick, his first since May.
King's Grace 9-2 (11-2) With leaders, led 6th to 8th, weakened 4 out, 8th of 12, 38l behind Wiesentraum (11-2) at Doncaster 2m 3f beg chs (3) gs.
Prince Buster (FR) 10-1 (11-7) Tracked leader, took keen hold, ridden and weakened after 3 out, last of 7, 39l behind Johns Spirit (11-12) at Sandown 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft.
Ros Castle (IRE) 2-1fav (11-10) Held up towards rear, outpaced 7th, headway from 4 out, chased winner 2 out, stayed on towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Tahiti Pearl (11-4) at Newcastle 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Nov.
Ebony River (IRE) 33-1 (11-2) Towards rear, hit 1st, steady headway 6 out, weakened from 3 out, 4th of 8, 17l behind Cloudy Too (10-9) at Carlisle 2m 4f beg chs (3) hvy in Nov.
Highrate (IRE) 6-4fav (11-0) Led, hit and headed 4th, led again 5th, headed before 8th, led again 2 out, ridden after last, kept on well, won at Hexham 2m beg chs (4) hvy in Nov beating Brandon Thomas (11-0) by 4 1/2l, 7 ran.
Weston Lodge (IRE) 3-1fav (11-7) Held up towards rear, headway to go 3rd 5 out, blundered 2 out, soon weakened, 6th of 7, 28l behind Honest John (11-12) at Doncaster 3m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Nov.
Sandynow (IRE) 5-1 (10-11) Held up towards rear, hampered 2nd, struggling from 6th, 7th of 13, 24l behind Fulgora (10-1) at Warwick 2m beg chs (4) sft.