Dual bumper winner STORM BRIG got off the mark over hurdles at the first time of asking when scoring over 2m at Newcastle. Breeding suggests today's longer trip is within his compass and Alistair Whilans' promising hurdler can continue his winning ways. Lively Baron also won his debut over timber when beating a subsequent winner at Haydock. He looks a real threat as does Cheltenham bumper winner Tanzanite Bay, who makes her seasonal reappearance. Kelso winner Sunarri went close at Aintree last time and is another to consider in what looks a decent contest.
Lively Baron (IRE) 2-7fav (10-12) Led to 3rd, tracked leader, led again approaching 3 out, pressed 2 out, ridden approaching last, driven out, held on well towards finish, won at Haydock 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gd in Nov beating Palace Jester (10-9) by 3/4l, 8 ran.
Sunarri (IRE) 6-1 (11-4) Led, driven and hard pressed 2 out, soon ridden, headed narrowly last, kept on and every chance flat, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 10, 1 3/4l behind Eighteen Carat (11-6) at Aintree 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (3) sft in Nov.
And The Man 50-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, ridden to chase leaders approaching 2 out, soon beaten, weakened last, 7th of 9, 20l behind Get It On (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Artic Night (FR) 100-1 (10-12) Held up mid-division and keen, weakened from 3 out, 9th of 18, 43l behind Palace Jester (10-12) at Wetherby 2m nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Bertie Milan (IRE) 9-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 4 out, challenged next, ridden 2 out, lost place last, one pace flat, no impression, 6th of 16, 25l behind Jurisdiction (11-12) at Kelso 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Forcefield 50-1 (10-7) Tracked leader, driven 3f out, ridden and lost place over 2f out, no impression final furlong, 4th of 6, 13l behind Charminster (11-0) at Haydock 2m NH flat (3) gs in Nov.
King Sandor (IRE) 4-1 (10-12) Held up behind, headway approaching 2 out, weakened before last, 5th of 10, 37l behind Code Blue (10-12) at Hexham 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Nov.
Kings Grey (IRE) 14-1 (10-12) Led until after 1st, chased leader, led 3rd, headed when not fluent 2 out, no extra flat, 5th of 16, 13l behind Storm Brig (10-12) at Newcastle 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Kingsmoss (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, close 4th on outer before 2 out, soon ridden, 4th entering straight, kept on same pace from last, 3rd of 8, 12l behind One Cool Tornado (11-12) at Galway 2m 4f nh nov hdl gf in Aug.
Moufatango (FR) 28-1 (10-9) Held up in touch, chased leaders when blundered 3 out, outpaced next, weakened last, 6th of 9, 20l behind Get It On (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Mr Supreme (IRE) 8-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, weakened over 4f out, tailed off, 6th of 8, 40l behind Diocles (11-0) at Southwell 2m n h flat (5) std in Dec.
Scotswell 100-1 (10-5) Held up towards rear, weakened before 4 out, 12th of 16, 30l behind Torta Nel Cielo (10-9) at Kelso 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Under The Stars (IRE) 28-1 (10-9) Led, hit 7th, headed approaching 3 out, soon outpaced, weakened from next, 6th of 14, 33l behind Moon Indigo (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Lesanda 13-2 (10-5) Tracked leader, led well over 2f out, ridden 1f out, stayed on well, won at Sedgefield 2m 1f N H flat (6) sft in Jan '10 beating Catleen (11-2) by 2 1/2l, 10 ran.
Miss Abbey 8-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway after 4 out, ridden after 2 out, one pace, 4th of 8, 8l behind Lastroseofsummer (10-5) at Musselburgh 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Tanzanite Bay 15-2 (10-13) Held up towards rear, good headway on wide outside over 4f out, came to outside and challenged entering straight, led 1f out, driven and held on gamely near finish, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f N H flat (4) gd in Apr beating Line Freedom (11-6) by nk, 13 ran.
Milano Supremo (IRE) 9-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders on inside, pushed along and lost place over 4f out, soon outpaced, kept on to take 3rd over 1f out, no impression, 3rd of 10, 8l behind Rocking Blues (11-0) at Kelso 2m NH flat (5) gd in Oct.
Storm Brig 11-2 (10-12) Held up in mid-division, not fluent 1st, headway 3rd, challenged last, not much room briefly before leading flat, stayed on well to draw clear, won at Newcastle 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov beating Flinty Bay (10-12) by 8l, 16 ran.