As amateurs' races go, this is a competitive little contest. The booking of Derek O'Connor for Donald McCain's Abbey Storm certainly catches the eye as the eight-year-old was second over track and trip last time. Mister Marker has his sights lowered while a back-to-form The Panama Kid had Badger Foot and More Equity behind when winning easily at Doncaster last month, though the handicapper has had his say since. Despite winning over course and distance in December, veteran OR DE GRUGY is still just 2lb higher than when only beaten a nose in this last year. He may be capable of going one better, though Mister Philson will pop up somewhere when least expected and Ros Castle's rider Jamie Hamilton is good value for his 7lb claim and rode the winner of this in 2012.
Mister Marker (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Held up mid-division, pushed along before 15th, soon weakened, pulled up, in a race won by Sun Cloud (11-0) at Catterick 3m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Jan, 9 ran.
The Panama Kid (IRE) 7-1 (11-5) Tracked leader, led 3 out, clear before last, easily, won at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Jan beating Mr Supreme (10-6) by 8l, 8 ran.
Abbey Storm (IRE) 13-8 (11-5) Tracked leader until not fluent 1st, niggled along 4th, mistake 7th, went 2nd after 9th until last (normal 3 out), went 2nd again over 2f out, hung left 1f out, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 3, 3 1/2l behind Settledoutofcourt (10-9) at Kelso 2m 7f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Ros Castle (IRE) 5-1 (11-5) Mid-division, headway before 5 out, mistake 4 out, went 3rd before 2 out, no extra run-in, 4th of 7, 15l behind Wicklow Lad (10-11) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Jan.
Fiddlers Reel 3-1 (11-11) In touch in rear, closed to go 3rd 4 out, outpaced 2 out, lost 3rd flat, 4th of 5, 20l behind Wayward Glance (11-12) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Dec.
Or de Grugy (FR) 7-2 (11-6) Made all, ridden approaching last, stayed on well, won at Kelso 2m 7f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec beating Polarbrook (11-12) by 4 1/2l, 5 ran.
Badger Foot (IRE) 9-1 (10-13) Held up mid-division, headway before 4 out, went 2nd after last until close home, 3rd of 8, 8l behind The Panama Kid (11-5) at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Jan.
More Equity 33-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders in 3rd, weakened before 5 out, 5th of 8, 36l behind The Panama Kid (11-5) at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Jan.
Mister Philson (IRE) 16-1 (10-10) Led and disputed early, headed 7th, ridden along 5 out, led again after 4 out, headed 3 out, soon no impression on leaders, 4th of 10, 17l behind Blissful Moment (10-10) at Down Royal 3m hcp chs 0-116 hvy.