Evan Williams has been upgrading his stock for this season and looks to have come up trumps with CRISTAL BONUS. A Listed and Grade 3 winner over hurdles in France, he had no chance at the weights on his UK debut in the Grade 2 International Hurdle at Cheltenham last month but ran a superb race behind Menorah and Cue Card. He should have a bright future providing he takes to fences. Gus Macrae ran a shocker on his chasing bow over this C&D last month but that was his first start since April and this winning bumper and hurdler should do much better here. Llama Farmer was a shock winner of a novice hurdle at Haydock last January but has performed badly on all four subsequent starts while Maringo Bay, twice a runner-up between the flags, was beaten a distance on his hurdling debut at Fontwell in November.
Gus Macrae (IRE) 10-3 (11-0) Tracked leaders, lost place 5th, tailed off from 3 out, 8th of 9, well behind Dan Breen (11-0) at Bangor 2m 1f nov chs (4) gs in Dec.
Llama Farmer 20-1 (11-3) Towards rear after 7th, tailed off and pulled up, in a race won by Misstree Dancer (11-3) at Newbury 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Dec, 15 ran.
Maringo Bay (IRE) 8-1 (10-9) Chased leaders, hit 6th, weakened after 3 out, went left last 2, tailed off, 10th of 12, well behind Kauto The Roc (10-4) at Fontwell 2m 4f 4yo nov stks (4) gs in Nov.
Betty Browneyes 80-1 (10-5) Tracked leaders, weakened approaching 3 out, tailed off, 11th of 16, well behind Gibb River (10-12) at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Cristal Bonus (FR) 25-1 (11-8) Held up behind, effort to chase leaders on inside approaching 2 out, soon outpaced, no impression approaching last, 5th of 9, 11l behind Menorah (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hdl G2 (1) gs in Dec.