A trappy affair with question marks against the majority, especially those with better recent form. Celian, a Hexham winner last month, is almost impossible to predict while being perfectly capable of scoring here if on a going day. Similarly, SHADOW BOXER, a C&D winner earlier this month, may possibly bounce as that was a first outing for over ten months. However, he did get the job done really well that day and clearly has scope for improvement as that success arrived on his chasing debut. Keep an eye on Claresburn as she delivered a sound effort when second to Soul Angel at Musselburgh in December. That was her first run since April 2009 and she could get involved if coming out of that very belated reappearance in good shape.
Fog Patches (IRE) 22-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, pushed along after 4th, soon weakened, 5th of 8, 29l behind Bury Parade (10-7) at Hexham 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) sft in Nov.
Ice Image (IRE) 25-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, weakened from 10th, 8th of 10, 46l behind Baltic Pathfinder (11-6) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Dec.
Toy Gun (IRE) 6-1 (10-5) Held up in rear, under pressure before 9th, soon lost touch, well behind when pulled up 3 out, in a race won by Oniz Tiptoes (10-8) at Sedgefield 3m 3f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft in Mar '10, 8 ran.
Celian (FR) 8-1 (10-11) Made virtually all, clear 10th until jumped slowly 3 out, headed briefly soon after, ridden last, stayed on flat, won at Hexham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-95 (5) hvy in Dec beating Mr Chippy (12-0) by 2l, 8 ran.
Shadow Boxer 13-8fav (10-8) Tracked leaders on outside, effort 4 out, soon ridden, led 2 out, edged left between last 2, clear last, stayed on well, won at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft beating Hole In One (11-12) by 8l, 6 ran.
Chargen (IRE) 40-1 (11-2) Raced in 4th off the pace, ridden and lost 4th at 6th, struggling when hung right before 8th, left poor 4th and slightly hampered 2 out, 4th of 9, 32l behind Alpha Way (10-7) at Hereford 2m nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd in Nov.
Tipsy Dara (IRE) 40-1 (11-2) In touch, ridden and outpaced after 3 out, weakened before last, 8th of 11, 45l behind Executive's Hall (10-3) at Cartmel 2m 6f nov hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in May.
Man Of Principles (IRE) 12-1 (11-3) Led to 4th, chased leader, dropped to rear after 6th, struggling 11th, weakened 4 out, tailed off when fell 2 out, in a race won by Shadow Boxer (10-8) at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft, 6 ran.
Claresburn 25-1 (9-9) Held up behind, ridden after 5 out, soon went 3rd, kept on, chased winner after last, no impression, 2nd of 7, 7l behind Soul Angel (11-2) at Musselburgh 2m 4f am hcp chs 0-100 (5) gs in Dec.