Nicky Henderson has saddled three of the last four winners of this contest so Semi Colon's claims have to be taken seriously, though the mare didn't jump very well when only fourth behind Trafalgar Road and Loch Ba at Sandown earlier this month. After wins at Newbury and Wincanton, That'lldoboy was just beaten at Cheltenham last time and is only 2lb higher here but six of his rivals in this won last time including the top three in the weights of which Bless The Wings looks the least exposed. It took OUR MICK three attempts to get off the mark over fences but an easy Catterick success will have boosted his confidence and it would be no surprise to see Donald McCain's novice follow up at this higher level. Milgen Bay jumps well and could run into a place again.
Bless The Wings (IRE) 13-2 (11-11) Held up, good headway to go prominent in chasing group approaching 7th, went 2nd approaching ommited 4 out, led before and went right last, strongly pressed closing stages, held on, won at Exeter 2m 3f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Nov beating Rhum (11-7) by 1/2l, 15 ran.
Temple Lord (FR) 5-4 (11-0) Settled tracking clear leading pair, tracked clear leader approaching 8th, closed next, over 2 lengths down when left in clear lead 3 out, heavily eased closing stages, won at Folkestone 2m beg chs (5) gf in Nov beating My Faithful Annie (10-2) by 6l, 3 ran.
Supreme de Paille (IRE) 5-2 (11-1) Held up behind leaders, went 3rd after 3 out, chased leader before 2 out, challenging when mistake last, led flat, pushed out, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov chs (4) gd in Nov beating Kauto The Roc (11-1) by 1 3/4l, 4 ran.
That'lldoboy (FR) 2-1fav (11-9) Held up in 4th, close up 9th, effort on outside after 3 out, challenged next, ridden and every chance flat, kept on, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 9, 3/4l behind Night Alliance (10-13) at Cheltenham 2m 5f cond hcp chs (4yo+) (3) gd.
Trafalgar Road (IRE) 7-2 (11-11) Tracked leader 2nd, not fluent next, led 4th, not fluent 11th (water), hit 12th, headed next, led approaching 3 out, strongly pressed next, held on, all out, won at Sandown 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs beating Loch Ba (11-0) by nk, 5 ran.
Our Mick 2-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, took closer order 8th, led 10th, pushed along after 4 out, clear before 2 out, eased final 100 yards, won at Catterick 2m 3f beg chs (5) gd in Nov beating Alpha One (10-12) by 14l, 8 ran.
Gandalfe (FR) 33-1 (11-5) Held up in rear, headway 12th, not fluent next, weakened approaching 4 out, blundered next, 7th of 10, well behind Penny Max (11-3) at Newbury 3m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft.
Semi Colon (FR) 11-4 (11-12) Tracked leaders, not fluent 10th, ridden after 14th, weakened approaching 2 out, 4th of 5, 19l behind Trafalgar Road (11-11) at Sandown 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs.
Gorge (AUS) 20-1 (10-6) In touch, went 3rd 3 out until approaching last, left 3rd again last, ridden and kept on one pace, 3rd of 12, 13l behind Frontier Spirit (11-3) at Fakenham 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd.
Papa Caruso 7-4fav (9-12) Tracked leaders, hit 7th, outpaced 10th, headway on inside 4 out, led next, ridden last, stayed on flat, won at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs beating Prosecco (10-9) by 4l, 9 ran.
Milgen Bay 8-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, blundered 4th, chased winner from 8th, hit 10th, ridden before 4 out, kept on and no impression, 2nd of 9, 7l behind Quicuyo (11-12) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gf in Nov.
Scoter Fontaine (FR) 12-1 (11-3) Close 5th, headway to 3rd at 8th, travelling strongly and every chance when stumbled on landing and unseated rider 3 out, in a race won by All For Free (11-4) at Ascot 2m 1f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft, 8 ran.
Loch Ba (IRE) 11-4 (11-0) Tracked leaders, not fluent, reminder after 3rd, mistake 5th, reminder after 10th, went 2nd 3 out, every chance when bad mistake 2 out, stayed challenging, just held towards finish, 2nd of 5, nk behind Trafalgar Road (11-11) at Sandown 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs.