Flicka Williams was raised a harsh-looking 8lb for finishing second at Uttoxeter and Pateese has climbed the weights this season, though will be hard to keep out of the frame again with a 7lb claimer on board. Kilmurvy has been threatening to get his head back in front while Virginia Ash ground out a victory at Plumpton last month, though had earlier finished behind Moorlands Mist and Brackloon High over this trip at Chepstow. ANDY KELLY was having just his fourth start over hurdles when only beaten a neck at Ascot. He has the beating of Kilmurvy on that run and can get back to winning ways today. Rydon Pynes is lightly-raced and may be a danger to the selection but Upswing and Scholastica try 3m for the first time.
Pateese (FR) 9-2 (11-0) Tracked leading pair, ridden before 2 out, went 2nd between last 2, no chance with winner when mistake last, kept on to hold 2nd, 2nd of 5, 7l behind Whisper (11-8) at Newbury 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec.
Flicka Williams (IRE) 13-2 (11-12) Held up in last pair, not fluent 5th, headway approaching 3 out where mistake, chased winner from next, stayed on same pace flat, 2nd of 8, 2 1/4l behind Madness Light (11-3) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec.
Moorlands Mist 9-4fav (11-2) Mid-division, not fluent 7th, 6th and ridden when not fluent 4 out, no extra 2 out, 5th of 10, 29l behind Awaywiththegreys (11-10) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) hvy in Dec.
Andy Kelly (IRE) 7-2fav (11-3) Chased winner throughout, not fluent 7th, hung right and challenging when not fluent 2 out, upsides last, every chance when carried left final 50 yards, just held, 2nd of 12, nk behind Bygones Sovereign (10-8) at Ascot 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Dec.
Upswing 9-2 (10-2) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 3 out, ridden between last 2, 1 length down when fell last, in a race won by Champagne West (10-2) at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec, 8 ran.
Scholastica 9-2 (10-9) Chased leaders, stumbled 2nd, blundered 4th, lost place after 6th, pushed along and struggling after 8th, never on terms after, 6th of 8, 31l behind Mickie (11-5) at Kempton 3m mrs hcp hdl (2) sft in Dec.
Kilmurvy (IRE) 5-1 (11-9) Prominent, outpaced before 2 out, kept on to take 2nd place close home, 2nd of 14, 3/4l behind Bob Tucker (10-6) at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) hvy in Jan.
Rydon Pynes 7-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway 4 out, led narrowly next, headed narrowly 2 out, soon ridden, rallied to regain lead towards finish, won at Exeter 2m 5f nov hdl (3) gs in Nov beating Flemenson (11-4) by 1l, 12 ran.
Brackloon High (IRE) 13-2 (10-13) Tracked leaders, lost place after 2nd, closed before 9th, led after 3 out, headed before 2 out, 3rd and one pace when not fluent last, no extra flat, 4th of 9, 21l behind Lienosus (11-12) at Taunton 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Virginia Ash (IRE) 11-4fav (11-2) Held up in mid-division, headway to chase leaders from 10th, led before 2 out, driven and strongly pressed last, stayed on gamely to hold on, all out, won at Plumpton 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy in Jan beating Night Of Passion (10-11) by 3/4l, 12 ran.