A decent contest to start the meeting and James Ewart is double-handed. Bishops Heir ran well for a long way on his return from injury at Kelso while Signalman was second over C&D last month following a pipe-opener at Carlisle, though has something to find with Stopped Out on that run. Kate Walton's six-year-old could find this trip on the sharp side, however, and BOLD SIR BRIAN is preferred. He caught a tartar in Kudu Country last time but his earlier second at Carlisle looks solid enough and his jumping is improving with experience.
About Thyne (IRE) 200-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, weakened after 4 out, tailed off, 9th of 12, well behind Sivola De Sivola (11-5) at Carlisle 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.
A Patchy Dancer (IRE) 22-1 (10-9) Held up in mid-division, headway on outside and closer order when mistake 4th, soon behind, tailed off 3 out, pulled up after next, in a race won by High Ransom (10-12) at Carlisle 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Nov, 12 ran.
Bishops Heir 9-2 (11-11) Tracked leaders, chased winner before last until one pace soon after, 5th of 12, 13l behind Storm Surge (10-1) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Nov.
Bold Sir Brian (IRE) 4-9fav (11-2) Tracked leaders, effort to join winner 3 out, ridden and outpaced by winner approaching last, 2nd of 6, 8l behind Kudu Country (11-2) at Carlisle 2m nov chs (4) gs in Nov.
Rich Lord 9-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders in 3rd, mistake 7th, soon pushed along and lost place, outpaced from 3 out, kept on run-in to take 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 5, 5l behind Lightening Rod (11-0) at Hexham 2m Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) sft in Nov.
Signalman 7-2 (10-13) Led, headed before 2nd, tracked leader, led again before 6th, ridden and headed run-in, kept on, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 4l behind Lightening Rod (11-0) at Hexham 2m Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) sft in Nov.
Stopped Out 9-2 (11-3) Held up in touch in 4th, chased winner before 3 out, no impression, 2nd of 6, 7l behind Notus De La Tour (11-3) at Carlisle 2m 4f nov chs (4) gs in Oct.
Empress Orchid 16-1 (10-10) Mid-division on inside, weakened 3 out, 11th of 18, 33l behind Ubi Ace (11-5) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Nov.