Dropped into a seller for the first time, Karmadice has solid claims at the weights despite disappointing a little since finishing second at Catterick at the end of February. Several may hold a fitness advantage over Sue Smith's charge, however, with Nelson Du Ronceray having won a modest contest at Hexham earlier this month and Western Bound having run Makhzoon to three-quarters-of-a-length over a longer trip at Perth last week. JUNIOR JACK hasn't proved entirely straightforward in the past but, having been tubed, blinkers also helped back over hurdles at Ludlow and he could well go close again here. Fred Bojangals may find a few of these too quick on the ground but Checkerboard is interesting after a lay-off.
Nelson du Ronceray (FR) 11-8fav (10-10) Tracked leaders, led after 2 out, ridden flat, kept on, won at Hexham 2m sell hdl (5) sft beating Kirkaig (10-9) by 1 1/2l, 8 ran.
Western Bound (IRE) 2-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, went 3rd before 2 out, went 2nd from 2 out, kept on well towards finish, 2nd of 7, 3/4l behind Makhzoon (11-2) at Perth 3m clm hdl (5) sft.
Apache Brave (IRE) 16-1 (9-11) Held up in rear, effort after 4 out, weakening when mistake 3 out, 6th of 11, 19l behind Sonic Anthem (11-2) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd.
Checkerboard (IRE) 20-1 (11-1) Tracked leader, lost place 5 out, soon in rear, last of 8, 47l behind Drumbaloo (11-1) at Ludlow 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Mar.
Fred Bojangals (IRE) 25-1 (11-9) Held up mid-division, lost place 13th, weakened from 6 out, pulled up before 3 out, tailed off, in a race won by Isla Pearl Fisher (11-0) at Kelso 3m 1f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs, 11 ran.
Junior Jack 11-4fav (10-4) Pressed leader, led 4th, ridden and headed last, stayed on to lead again close home, won at Ludlow 2m cond sll hdl (5) gd beating Mahfal (10-8) by hd, 8 ran.
Karmadice 7-1 (10-12) Led, headed 4 out, soon ridden, one pace, 6th of 14, 31l behind Hi Dancer (11-0) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Mar.
Right Option (IRE) 10-1 (10-12) In touch, reminders after 5th, soon behind, tailed off, 13th of 14, well behind Arctic Watch (10-10) at Newton Abbot 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Apr.
Tower 6-1 (11-4) Chased leaders in 5th, driven 3 out, weakened next, 7th of 9, 19l behind On The Right Path (11-7) at Market Rasen 2m 1f sell hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gs in Apr.
Hoar Frost 11-2 (9-12) Held up towards rear, went 5th before 2 out, never dangerous, 6th of 8, 45l behind Nelson du Ronceray (10-10) at Hexham 2m sell hdl (5) sft.