KILBEGGAN BLADE has plenty of weight but may still prove too strong for the likes of Blistering and C'monthehammers. Better known as a decent staying chaser, he has successfully exploited his novice status over hurdles with two wins at Towcester where his stamina was brought into play. This track should provide him with a sufficient test and his form leaves him head and shoulders above his rivals. Blistering is an obvious starting point having progressed well in bumpers but he has run poorly on both starts over obstacles and cannot be confidently put forwards as a result. C'monthehammers' debut defeat shouldn't be judged too harshly given the testing conditions; the winner has turned out to be useful and the yard is in better form than it was at the time. Go All Out needs to improve for the longer trip which is what Outlaw Tom did when finishing third at Folkestone but he'll need to improve again in order to open his account whilst Orchard King will need to recapture the best of last season's form if he's to make the frame. The weight concession and differing nature of the track are possible negatives but it's difficult to look beyond Kilbeggan Blade.
Kilbeggan Blade 2-1 (11-4) Always in touch, taken wide on approach to 7th, led approaching next, clear last, stayed on well, won at Towcester 3m nov hdl (4) sft in Jan beating Mon Mome (10-12) by 4l, 6 ran.
Blistering (IRE) 7-2 (10-12) Chased leaders, driven along when mistake and weakened 8th, soon well behind, tailed off when pulled up at the last in race won by Aux Le Bahnn (11-5) at Folkestone 2m 6f nov hdl (4) gs in Jan, 14 ran.
C'Monthehammers (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Always towards rear, 6th of 13, 49l behind Giles Cross (11-0) at Chepstow 3m mdn hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Go All Out (IRE) 66-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, weakened approaching 2 out, 6th of 12, 12l behind Quiver Hill (11-2) at Warwick 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Feb.
Orchard King (IRE) 66-1 (11-5) Mid-division, mistake 5th, reminders 8th, soon dropped rear, no chance after 10th, mistake next, tailed off when pulled up at the 12th in race won by Kitski (11-11) at Huntingdon 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Feb, 18 ran.
Outlaw Tom (IRE) 28-1 (10-12) In touch, pecked 7th, headway to chase leaders under pressure after 2 out, no chance before last, 3rd of 14, 21l behind Aux Le Bahnn (11-5) at Folkestone 2m 6f nov hdl (4) gs in Jan.