Caught In The Act won at the track in October but is hardly reliable and has been pulled up in three of his six starts over timber. Ballybanks is still a maiden under Rules but has only found one too good in his last three runs over fences while Shoal Bay Dreamer won over the larger obstacles at Hexham two runs ago and must have some sort of chance if his stamina doesn't give out. LORD OF DRUMS clearly lacks an extra gear but this marathon trip could be the making of him as he's already won over 3m between the flags. The handicapper hasn't done him any favours but Lucinda Russell's gelding probably has more scope than his rivals.
Lord Of Drums (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Always towards rear, 7th of 16, 45l behind Eduard (10-12) at Newcastle 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Caught In The Act (IRE) 9-4fav (10-13) Held up towards rear, weakened before 2 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Lisdonagh House (10-3) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) hvy in Nov, 11 ran.
Ballybanks (IRE) 13-8fav (10-9) Led, mistake and headed 10th, hit 13th, soon outpaced, 2 lengths down in 2nd when blundered 3 out, no impression with winner when left sole rival 2 out, 2nd of 4, 7l behind Twice Lucky (11-0) at Kelso 2m 7f nov hcp chs 0-100 (5) sft in Nov.
Breeogue Boy (IRE) 50-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders, lost place 5th, behind when jumped slowly 7th, tailed off, 6th of 8, well behind Allow Me (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gd in Nov '11.
Qollioure (FR) 40-1 (11-0) Always behind, weakened from 8th, last of 9, 40l behind Benmadigan (10-10) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in Nov.
Shoal Bay Dreamer 5-2 (10-13) Led to 8th, led 3 out, ridden before last, weakened and headed last 100 yards, 4th of 5, 4 1/2l behind Samson Collonges (10-7) at Hexham 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) hvy in Nov.
Rowan Road 40-1 (10-5) Tracked leaders in 3rd, weakened before 2 out, last of 5, well behind Ifyousayso (10-12) at Carlisle 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Nov.
Almond Court (IRE) 11-1 (10-8) Led, mistake 5 out, headed 4 out, weakened before 3 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Samson Collonges (10-0) at Hexham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Nov, 5 ran.
Isla Patriot 16-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, lost place 2nd, behind 8th, some headway 2 out, not able to get back on terms, 5th of 9, 18l behind Daasij (11-7) at Ayr 3m hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft in Nov.