Lord Of Drums had Alpha One five lengths behind when scoring over the course and distance in December. But the runner-up let the form down with a poor run at Sedgefield on Boxing Day. RADIO NOWHERE made an encouraging debut over fences when caught close home by Sharney Sike over this trip at Newcastle. The winner went in again from a 9lb higher mark so Donald McCain's charge looks well enough handicapped to go one better. Pistol Basc is usually happier in slightly lower grade, as he was at Sedgefield in December, so a 7lb rise could prove his undoing but Civil Unrest has been in tremendous form over hurdles and fences and won four of his last five. He's scored from this mark on this track in the past so looks a major threat. Both Brieryhill Boy and Hotgrove Boy are still maidens and though running well recently have had plenty of chances.
Alpha One (IRE) 5-1 (11-12) Not fluent 1st, tracked leaders on inside, ridden and one pace in 4th approaching 2 out, soon no chance with leaders, lost place after last, 5th of 7, 25l behind King's Grace (11-9) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Dec.
Lord Of Drums (IRE) 15-2 (11-8) Led to 11th, weakened before 4 out, 6th of 7, 21l behind Swing Hard (11-12) at Musselburgh 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Jan.
Endeavor 20-1 (10-13) Chased leaders in 4th, went 3rd from 2 out, one pace, 3rd of 6, 15l behind Plus Jamais (10-8) at Ayr 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) hvy in Jan.
Civil Unrest (IRE) 7-2 (11-5) Made all, pressed last, kept on, driven out, won at Musselburgh 2m hcp chs 0-100 (5) sft in Jan beating Coax (11-12) by 1 3/4l, 6 ran.
Lord Redsgirth (IRE) 14-1 (11-7) With leader, led briefly 3rd, led 6th, headed 4 out, weakened after 3 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by And The Man (11-12) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Jan, 6 ran.
Radio Nowhere (IRE) 3-1fav (11-0) Led, ridden before 3 out, clear from 2 out, kept on and caught post, 2nd of 9, hd behind Sharney Sike (10-2) at Newcastle 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) gd in Dec.
New Shuil (IRE) 9-2 (10-13) Chased leaders until pushed along in 6th 4th, weakened before 14th, behind when mistake 3 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Isla Pearl Fisher (10-3) at Musselburgh 3m hcp chs 0-120 (3) gs in Jan '11, 9 ran.
Brieryhill Boy 5-1 (10-3) Tended to jump right, led, ridden between last 2, 2 lengths clear and staying on when mistake last, headed flat, no extra, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind King's Grace (11-9) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Dec.
Pistol Basc (FR) 11-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders, led 3 out, hard ridden when strongly challenged after last, just held on, won at Catterick 2m 3f hcp 0-100 (5) sft in Dec beating Moonlight Maggie (10-2) by hd, 7 ran.
Hotgrove Boy 3-1 (10-0) Led, headed 2 out, every chance before last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 3l behind Proud Times (11-7) at Catterick 2m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Jan.