BALLABRIGGS has yet to win over hurdles but showed marked improvement when winning all three starts over fences last year. If he can translate that form back to the smaller obstacles, then Donald McCain's charge is the one to beat on his return to action. Ohio Gold has been placed at Newbury the last twice and can figure while Zakatal ran up to a similar level when runner-up on his latest start at Ludlow. He looks capable of reversing form with the winner Natureofthebeast on better terms here.
Natureofthebeast (IRE) 9-4fav (11-5) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, not fluent 5th, not fluent 8th, soon ridden and lost place, stayed on same pace approaching last, no impression, 4th of 6, 7l behind Badgers Cove (10-12) at Ludlow 2m 5f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gs in Nov.
BallaBriggs (IRE) 9-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, left 2nd after 4 out, led after next, clear when not fluent 2 out, 10 lenghts ahead last, drifted right flat, all out, just held on, won at Cheltenham 3m 1f Am hcp chs 0-140 (2) gs in Mar beating Faasel (11-7) by 1/2l, 24 ran.
Contentwithmyluck (IRE) 200-1 (10-7) Always in rear, tailed off, last of 15, well behind Owen Glendower (11-4) at Stratford 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gs in Oct.
No Obligation (IRE) 125-1 (10-7) Chased leaders, weakened soon after 4 out, tailed off, 10th of 16, 46l behind Filbert (10-12) at Exeter 2m 3f nov hdl (4) gs.
Ohio Gold (IRE) 10-3 (10-12) Tracked leaders, hung left 3 out, soon ridden, kept on under pressure to go 3rd flat, no impression with leading pair, 3rd of 16, 5l behind Pride In Battle (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gd in Dec.
Robin Will (FR) 80-1 (10-12) Behind, kept on under poressure approaching last, never near leaders, 6th of 16, 37l behind Prince Of Pirates (10-12) at Cheltenham 2m 1f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gd in Dec.
Smoking (FR) 200-1 (11-0) Hit 3rd, always in rear, tailed off, 11th of 15, well behind Kid Cassidy (11-0) at Newbury 2m NH mdn hdl (3) gs in Nov.
Smooth Classic (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, headway 4f out, ridden and edged right 2f out, no extra inside final furlong, 5th of 11, 6l behind Blue Monster (11-0) at Kempton 2m Nat Hunt Flat (4yo+) (AWT) (4) std in Dec.
Zakatal 5-4 (10-12) Mostly 3rd, not fluent 4th, mistake 7th, led approaching 3 out, mistake at headed at hurdle, not fluent 2 out or last, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 4, 2 1/4l behind Natureofthebeast (10-12) at Ludlow 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Quiet Alice 100-1 (10-5) Always behind, ridden and struggling 7th, tailed off, 14th of 16, well behind Buck Magic (10-7) at Wincanton 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.