Ruby Bay went close over hurdles a fortnight ago and ran well on his only previous start over fences. MONBEG had Brieryhill Boy back in third when scoring over track and trip on his penultimate start. Faster ground was a legitimate excuse for his recent defeat at this venue and he gets another chance today. King's Grace continues to slide down the weights but hasn't raced since May while both Alpha One and Palos Conti have a shout on recent form, but need quicker ground to show their best and Baltic Pathfinder is hard to catch right.
Palos Conti (FR) 5-1 (11-5) Led to 9th, tracked leader, led again 5 out to next, 2 lengths down in clear 2nd when blundered 2 out, kept on same pace, mistake last, well held flat, 2nd of 8, 5l behind Swing Hard (11-2) at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Nov.
Alpha One (IRE) 7-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, chased winner from before 5th, every chance when blundered last, no extra run-in, 2nd of 6, 5l behind Lord Of Drums (10-12) at Musselburgh 2m 4f (4) gd.
King's Grace 13-8fav (11-12) Tracked leader, headed 5 out, reminders after 4 out, weakened from 3 out, blundered next, 3rd of 6, 18l behind Badgers Retreat (11-0) at Market Rasen 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in May.
Baltic Pathfinder (IRE) 14-1 (10-11) Chased leaders in 3rd, pushed along and every chance 2 out, one pace in 3rd before last, 3rd of 10, 18l behind Sun Cloud (11-10) at Hexham 2m 7f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft.
Brieryhill Boy 4-1 (10-10) Led until not fluent 3 out, stayed close up, led again last, headed towards finish, 3rd of 6, 2l behind Monbeg (10-3) at Sedgefield 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Nov.
Monbeg (IRE) 3-1fav (11-9) In rear, reminder after 8th, weakened 4 out, tailed off, 6th of 7, well behind Prince Blackthorn (10-4) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) gs.
Ruby Bay (IRE) 7-1 (11-8) Chased leaders, went 2nd 5 out, led 3 out, looked well in command when tired quickly, headed post, 2nd of 18, hd behind Snapping Turtle (11-6) at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gd.
Newspage (IRE) 4-1 (10-0) Tracked leader, led narrowly 7th, headed after 10th, hit 14th, lost place approaching 4 out, soon weakened, 8th of 13, well behind Presented (11-9) at Newcastle 3m hcp 0-100 (5) gd in Nov.