HOHLETHELONELY has a 7lb penalty to carry having foiled a gamble on Off The Ground at Exeter 12 days ago. He's still well treated on his best form, however, and faces a very moderate bunch here. Goat Castle has proved expensive to follow and isn't improving, while Aperitif is little better than a plater nowadays. Clever Dick is one of the least exposed but he needs to improve dramatically on what he's shown so far and Earcomesthedream has been on a downward curve over fences and hurdles lately.
Hohlethelonely 5-1 (10-6) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 3rd, led next, driven and stayed on gamely flat, won at Exeter 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft beating Off The Ground (11-8) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
Beat The System 50-1 (10-13) Behind, struggling from 4th, lost touch and pulled up before 10th, in a race won by Mr Chow (11-12) at Taunton 2m 7f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gs in Dec, 14 ran.
Goat Castle (IRE) 8-1 (11-6) Held up, outpaced after 5th, stayed on approaching last, almost got 2nd, no impression on winner, 3rd of 7, 8l behind Sustainability (11-3) at Uttoxeter 2m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) hvy in Dec.
Aperitif 28-1 (11-3) Took keen hold, led when not fluent 2nd, hit 3rd, not fluent 4th or 5th, headed next, weakened 7th, tailed off, 10th of 13, well behind Black Mac (11-2) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.
Earcomesthedream (IRE) 16-1 (11-6) Mid-division, in touch after 5th, weakened next, tailed off, 11th of 12, well behind Valid Point (11-10) at Towcester 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Nov.
Clever Dick (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Held up, always behind, 10th of 12, 49l behind Grumeti (10-6) at Taunton 2m 1f nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Lost Arca (FR) 40-1 (11-7) Mid-division, disputed 4th and in touch when fell 4 out, in a race won by Bagsy's Bridge (11-6) at Bangor 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gs, 9 ran.
My Viking Bay (IRE) 9-1 (10-8) Always towards rear, 10th of 16, well behind Ukrainian Star (11-7) at Hereford 3m 2f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft in Dec.
Fran's Folly 18-1 (11-12) Mid-division, lost place after 6th, behind from 4 out, tailed off when pulled up after 3 out, in a race won by Diamanpeg (10-11) at Newton Abbot 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-85 (5) gf in May, 13 ran.
Massachusetts 20-1 (11-7) Bd 4, in a race won by Shrewd Investment (12-0) at Black Forest Lodge 2m 4f ptp gf in Nov, 14 ran.
Point Of Reference 50-1 (9-12) Chased leadrs, weakened before 7th, soon struggling in rear, tailed off, 10th of 12, well behind Hazy Bay (11-10) at Plumpton 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft in Dec.
Sam's Pride 33-1 (10-10) Held up towards rear, not fluent 6th, struggling 8th, tailed off, 9th of 10, well behind The Wee Midget (11-9) at Hereford 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gf in Apr.
Brushford (IRE) 9-1 (10-4) Prominent, led after 4th, headed next, led again 8th, not fluent and headed 9th, weakened after 3 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by My Faithful Annie (9-13) at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp chs 0-90 (5) sft, 9 ran.