The Friary is already a winner between the flags and Lucinda Russell trained the winner of this 12 months ago. But this is a tough start to his chasing career as both RED ROCCO and Yurok have already won over the larger obstacles. The former made all to win a novices handicap at Newcastle four weeks ago and is clearly at home on heavy going. He jumps well and can get the better of Sue Smith's Wetherby winner with the longer trip a slight concern for the latter.
Red Rocco (IRE) 5-2fav (11-2) Made all, clear from 3 out, ridden before 2 out, stayed on well, won at Newcastle 3m Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) hvy beating Fentara (10-11) by 2l, 6 ran.
Yurok (IRE) 11-2 (11-0) Held up mid-division, pushed along before 5 out, headway to lead 4 out, pressed from 3 out, kept on gamely towards finish, won at Wetherby 2m 4f nov chs (3) sft beating Aland Islands (11-5) by nk, 7 ran.
The Friary (IRE) 12-1 (10-2) Held up towards rear,steady headway from 3 out, one pace and no impression, 4th of 11, 23l behind Malapie (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) sft.