Fortified Bay was never travelling after a bad mistake at the first flight on his hurdling debut and should be capable of better. Minella For Me certainly needs to find more and it will be a surprise if this doesn’t chiefly concern the three previous winners. Misterton has only won on good ground so far but should handle the easier conditions, though Fly Camp and MR CLARKSON are preferred. The latter is two from two at the track and quickly put the issue beyond doubt on his hurdling debut so can get the better of Nicky Henderson’s charge, whose win at Uttoxeter last summer came over further.
Fly Camp (IRE) 3-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, 2nd before 3 out, driven next, no impression on winner last, one pace, 2nd of 9, 10l behind Mr Mcgo (11-12) at Chepstow 2m 3f (4) hvy in Jan.
Misterton 20-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, eased and pulled up after 3 out, at Cheltenham 2m 1f (3) gd in Dec.
Mr Clarkson (IRE) 15-8fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, challenged 5th, led before 3 out, edged right before last, stayed on well, won at Exeter 2m 1f mdn (4) sft in Jan beating Ridgeway Flyer (11-4) by 2 1/4l, 13 ran.
African Tiger 50-1 (10-12) Always towards rear, struggling when blundered and reminders 5th, tailed off, 12th of 17, dist behind Neon Wolf (10-12) at Exeter 2m 3f (4) gs in Jan.
Brereton (IRE) 50-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway on inside 7th, weakened before 3 out, 4th of 10, dist behind Over To Sam (11-5) at Exeter 2m 6f mdn (5) sft in Jan.
Brother Norphin 250-1 (11-6) Always behind, tailed off 3 out, pulled up before next, at Wincanton 2m 5f (4) sft in Jan.
Buffalo Sabre (FR) 20-1 (10-12) Prominent, not fluent 3rd or 6th, soon ridden, struggling 7th, soon weakened, pulled up before 2 out, at Towcester 2m 5f (4) gs in Nov.
Fortified Bay (IRE) 15-8 (10-12) In rear when bad mistake 1st (virtually fell), well behind after, 10th of 18, dist behind Chalonnial (10-12) at Bangor 2m 1f (4) sft in Dec.
Minella For Me (IRE) 3-1 (10-12) Pressed leader, led 4th, pecked 5th, hit 4 out, headed and weakened before 3 out, blundered 2 out, mistake last, modest 4th towards finish, 4th of 13, 19 1/4l behind Brave Eagle (10-12) at Ludlow 2m mdn (4) sft in Jan.
Mister Big (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Hit 1st, prominent in chasing group, pushed along and outpaced before 3 out, plugged on, 9th of 17, dist behind High Bridge (11-0) at Newbury 2m mdn (4) gs in Dec.
Mr Brinkley (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) In rear, not fluent 7th, weakened after next, pulled up before 9th, at Southwell 3m (4) gs in Nov.
Speronimo (FR) 100-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, ridden before 3 out, weakened before 2 out, 12th of 15, dist behind Red Indian (10-12) at Ffos Las 2m (4) sft in Dec.
The Kings Writ (IRE) 100-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, weakened before 3 out, 8th of 13, dist behind Keeper Hill (11-4) at Hereford 2m 4f (4) sft in Jan.
Dites Rien (IRE) 33-1 (10-11) Held up in rear, went right 1st, closed 3rd, ridden and outpaced 2 out, no impression when mistake and left 3rd briefly last, 4th of 7, 15 1/2l behind Monsieur Co (10-13) at Wincanton 1m 7f (4) sft in Jan.
Lady Ash (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, very slow and lost place 1st, slow again next, mistake and lost touch 3 out, pulled up before next, at Wincanton 2m 5f (4) hvy in Feb.