LOUGHALDER has been upped 9lb but this is less competitive than the race he won at Chepstow last month and Matt Sheppard's charge can follow up. Gers Benefit has a shout on his recent second in testing ground at Towcester while last year's winner Kilvergan Boy has claims again racing off a 4lb lower mark this time around. Oranger and Kinkeel both ran into a place on their latest outings with the former preferred on only his third start since July. Royal Chatelier could prove best of the rest.
Royal Chatelier (FR) 12-1 (11-2) Chased leaders, blundered 11th, driven and outpaced before 2 out (usual 3 out), soon no impression, 4th of 10, 18l behind Midnight Charmer (9-7) at Taunton 2m 7f nov hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy in Dec.
Kilvergan Boy (IRE) 4-1 (11-9) Made most, ridden and headed when hit 4 out, chased winner until next, stayed on same pace and no impression in 3rd after, 3rd of 8, 14l behind One More Dinar (11-6) at Ludlow 3m hcp ch 0-95 (5) sft in Jan.
Waltzing Tornado (IRE) 7-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders and keen, mistake 4th, weakened after 3 out, 5th of 7, 35l behind Mujamead (11-4) at Towcester 2m hcp ch 0-95 (5) hvy in Jan.
Gers Benefit (IRE) 10-1 (10-13) Led 1st, hit next, mistake 7th, ridden and edged left between last 2, went right last, kept on until ridden and headed flat, no extra, 2nd of 6, 6l behind Gorgehous Lliege (11-2) at Towcester 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy in Dec.
Loughalder (IRE) 6-4fav (10-1) In rear, soon tracked leaders in 3rd, challenged 2 out, led before last and pecked, kept on well, won at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy in Jan beating Derwen Pryde (11-1) by 6l, 6 ran.
Bringewood Belle 7-1 (11-5) Prominent, under pressure approaching 7th, soon weakened, moderate 4th, 4th of 7, well behind Landenstown Star (11-10) at Ffos Las 2m 5f hcp chs 0-95 (5) hvy in Dec.
Hazy Dawn 150-1 (10-4) Always towards rear, ridden and struggling after 4th, tailed off 8th, 7th of 11, well behind Filbert (11-0) at Ludlow 2m nov chs 0-125 (4) sft in Jan.
Oranger (FR) 8-1 (10-10) Took keen hold, chased leading trio, went 3rd approaching 6th, went 2nd 8th until before 4 out, went 2nd again 3 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 7l behind One More Dinar (11-6) at Ludlow 3m hcp ch 0-95 (5) sft in Jan.
Tough Cookie (IRE) 66-1 (10-7) Led until after 8th, weakened before 3 out, last of 5, well behind Module (11-7) at Leicester 2m nov chs (4) hvy in Jan.
Kinkeel (IRE) 3-1 (9-11) Held up in touch, ridden to lead before 2 out, headed before last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 7, 10l behind Mujamead (11-4) at Towcester 2m hcp ch 0-95 (5) hvy in Jan.
Feeling Peckish (USA) 11-1 (10-2) Pressed leader until 5th, chased leading pair until approaching 6th, weakened 10th, soon behind, tailed off, 7th of 8, well behind One More Dinar (11-6) at Ludlow 3m hcp ch 0-95 (5) sft in Jan.
The Last Bridge 200-1 (11-0) Held up in touch, ridden and weakend over 4f out, tailed off, 7th of 8, 35l behind Capellanus (10-9) at Wolverhampton 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan.
Celts Espere 66-1 (10-0) Prominent, not fluent 1st or when losing place 4th, hampered and left 3rd 14th, weakened 4 out, tailed off, 5th of 7, well behind Doubletoilntrouble (11-12) at Hereford 3m 1f nov hcp chs 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.