The Hollinwell has threatened to win a decent race on several occasions but never quite managed it though Lucy Alexander's claim is a bonus here. Helpston makes his handicap debut over fences and this looks too tough and though John Wade has done very well with the former hunter Always Right, an 8lb rise for his Kelso victory looks harsh. MIDNIGHT CHASE was in incredible form last year numbering three victories at Cheltenham amongst his tally. He was quietly fancied for the Gold Cup in March and ran well enough and a recent run at Down Royal will have put him straight for this. Sarando was an easy winner at Carlisle before falling when still in contention in the Hennessy and he must be considered along with the tough stayer Neptune Equester and Knockara Beau, who is likely to be finishing strongest of all.
Midnight Chase 9-2 (11-10) Slight mistake 1st, soon led and disputed, close 2nd from 9th, pushed along 5 out, ridden in 3rd 4 out, soon no extra, moderate 4th when fell 2 out, in a race won by Quito De La Roque (11-10) at Down Royal 3m Grade 1 chs (1) sft in Nov, 7 ran.
Wayward Prince 6-1 (10-8) Held up towards rear, bad mistake 8th, ridden and behind 15th, pulled up before 17th, in a race won by Carruthers (10-4) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov, 18 ran.
Sarando 22-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, fell 16th, in a race won by Carruthers (10-4) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov, 18 ran.
Always Right (IRE) 9-4fav (11-3) Always prominent, led 9th to next, led again 3 out, ridden and hard pressed final 200 yards, stayed on well towards finish, won at Kelso 2m 6f hcp chs (2) sft beating Skippers Brig (11-3) by 2 1/4l, 12 ran.
Knockara Beau (IRE) 9-2 (11-3) Tracked leader, lost place 3 out, soon ridden and outpaced, 6 lengths down in 4th last, stayed on strongly flat, went 2nd near finish, no impression with winner, 2nd of 6, 3 1/2l behind Shakalakaboomboom (11-0) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd.
Halley (FR) 7-2 (11-0) Led to 2nd, tracked leader, reminder after 4 out, lost place next, soon beaten, 5th of 6, 17l behind Deireadh Re (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl G2 (1) gd.
Lackamon 15-8fav (10-12) Tracked leader, took keen hold, led 5th, headed 7th, led again 10th, headed 12th, led again 6 out, ridden after 2 out, kept on, won at Newcastle 3m Novice Limited Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) gs in Nov beating Tiptoeaway (10-10) by 12l, 5 ran.
Neptune Equester 9-2 (11-12) Held up in last pair, headway after 5 out, switched inside to chase leader approaching 3 out, switched right between last 2, challenged last, ridden and stayed on to lead flat, won at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Nov beating Morning Moment (11-1) by 2l, 10 ran.
Merigo (FR) 22-1 (11-3) In rear, mistake 2nd, struggling 11th, never dangerous, tailed off, 10th of 12, well behind Always Right (11-3) at Kelso 2m 6f hcp chs (2) sft.
The Hollinwell 14-1 (10-7) Held up towards rear on outer, headway before 11th, led before next, headed before 4 out, weakened soon after, 3rd of 13, 29l behind Qianshan Leader (10-2) at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) gs.
King Fontaine (IRE) 14-1 (10-11) Prominent until mistake 1st, soon towards rear, not fluent 6th, weakened from 9th, tailed off when pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Qianshan Leader (10-2) at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) gs, 13 ran.
Helpston 11-4 (11-10) Tracked leader, led 14th, ridden 2 out, stayed on flat, won at Fakenham 3m nov chs (3) gd in Nov beating Larks Lad (11-10) by 4l, 4 ran.
According To Pete 9-2 (11-8) Chased leaders, under pressure when hampered 5 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 7th of 10, well behind Neptune Equester (11-12) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Nov.