tracked leader, every chance before 2 out, kept on towards finish
led, blundered 5 out, headed before last, soon weakened
tracked leaders, pushed along before 4 out, ridden before 3 out, stayed on towards finish
in rear, outpaced 5 out, soon detached
held up towards rear, headway before 5 out to chase leaders, ridden before 2 out, no extra from last
prominent, blundered 5th, staying and close up when fell 4 out
towards rear, pushed along after 5 out, headway before 2 out, led before last, kept on well
Plenty with claims in this but GRATE FELLA looks the most progressive. Sue Smith's charge has now won two of his four starts over fences including a six-length victory at Catterick last time and there should be more to come from him. Big Water continues to run well but is 10lb higher than his win at Carlisle in December while Presenting Junior bids for a hat-trick of course wins off a 6lb higher mark having landed a double here in November. And The Man has a shout on a length defeat at Newcastle last month while Scotch Warrior and Un Guet Apens are not easily dismissed if forgiven their recent below par efforts.
Big Water (IRE) 11-2 (11-11) Tracked leaders on outside, not fluent 4th, went 2nd 11th, no impression on winner flat, stayed on, 2nd of 9, 2 3/4l behind Knock A Hand (11-10) at Carlisle 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Feb.
Grate Fella (IRE) 7-4fav (11-12) With leader, led 4th, not fluent 8th or 3 out, clear before 2 out, stayed on well, won at Catterick 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Jan beating Russborough (11-6) by 6l, 7 ran.
Un Guet Apens (FR) 7-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, not fluent 2nd or 3rd, went 2nd 4th until after next, jumped slowly and ridden 6th, weakened before 3 out, last of 6, 28l behind Circus Star (10-3) at Ayr 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy in Jan.
Back To Bracka (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) In rear, headway before 5 out, challenging in 2nd and a length down when blundered and unseated rider 2 out, in a race won by Yes Tom (11-8) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Feb, 7 ran.
Man With Van (IRE) 14-1 (10-4) Held up towards rear, unseated rider 8th, in a race won by Samstown (10-5) at Haydock 3m 1f hcp chs G2 (1) hvy in Jan, 12 ran.
And The Man 9-1 (10-13) Mid-division, pushed along 6 out, challenged 3 out, every chance and ridden after last, held towards finish, 2nd of 9, 1l behind Oscar Rock (11-9) at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Feb.
Presenting Junior (IRE) 11-2 (10-8) Held up in rear, headway before 4 out, mistake 3 out, challenged last, kept on to lead towards finish, won at Ayr 3m 1f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Nov beating King Of The Wolds (11-5) by 3/4l, 6 ran.
Scotch Warrior 6-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, not fluent 3rd, ridden 10th, blundered 12th, soon well behind, 6th of 7, 31l behind Foundation Man (11-4) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Oct.