SPEEDY BRUERE can take this under top weight following a fair effort in a better race at Sandown. Only Pensnett Bay has had a lighter campaign and he is much better over longer trips. Mentalist has struggled to get his head in front this term but his turn probably isn't far away and Polarbrook was second over 3m at Kelso on his latest start and is likely to be thereabouts again. High Ron will have to prove he is as effective over this shorter trip if he is to complete the hat-trick, however, and Freckle Face probably didn't beat much over 2m1f here five weeks ago.
Speedy Bruere (FR) 10-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, ridden after 4 out, went 2nd soon after last, stayed on same pace, no impression on winner, 2nd of 6, 6l behind Sew On Target (11-10) at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy.
Mentalist (FR) 11-4 (11-12) Held up, hit 7th, closed next, not fluent 9th, soon ridden, weakening when not fluent and unseated rider 4 out, in a race won by Royal Chatelier (11-4) at Taunton 2m 7f hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Jan, 6 ran.
Polarbrook (IRE) 7-2 (11-12) Held up in last, many mistakes, switched right and headway approaching 2 out, went 2nd last, hung left and no impression on winner flat, 2nd of 5, 4 1/2l behind Or de Grugy (11-6) at Kelso 2m 7f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Pensnett Bay 8-1 (11-10) Led, clear from 2nd, mistake 9th, reduced advantage next, headed before 2 out (usual 3 out), weakened on long run between last 2, 4th of 8, 15l behind Roc D'apsis (11-3) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Dec.
High Ron 9-2 (11-7) Led 2nd, made rest, left 7 lengths clear 17th, reduced advantage before 3 out, hit next, soon ridden, kept on well, won at Southwell 3m 2f hcp ch 0-110 (4) hvy in Jan beating Badgers Cove (11-8) by 3 1/2l, 7 ran.
Freckle Face 10-3 (11-12) Held up towards rear, headway 4 out, led before 2 out, left clear 2 out, kept on, won at Towcester 2m hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy in Jan beating Highland River (10-8) by 19l, 7 ran.