Winning point-to-pointer CELTIC FLAMES made a successful debut over regulation fences at Hexham in November but ran poorly in his next two starts before a much better effort here last time when falling at the last while challenging. He can gain compensation though Middlebrow looks a major threat as he attempts his third victory in his last four, though both of those successes came over further. An Laoch looked a certain future winner when runner-up in his first three starts over fences but blotted his copybook when tackling 3m here in December while Scorpo was a 500/1 chance when last of five at Catterick.
Middlebrow (IRE) 11-4 (10-13) Jumped left, in touch on outside, went 2nd and jumped badly left from 4 out, led 3 out, driven clear flat, kept on, won at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp (4) gs in Jan beating Martiloo (10-13) by 3 1/2l, 6 ran.
An Laoch (IRE) 11-2 (12-3) Held up, in touch after 10th, weakened before 4 out, pulled up before 2 out, at Musselburgh 3m hcp (4) gd in Dec.
Celtic Flames (IRE) 14-1 (10-8) Held up behind, pushed along after 5 out, headway under pressure after next, switched inside approaching 2 out, pressed winner and every chance when fell last, at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp (4) sft in Feb.
Scorpo (IRE) 500-1 (10-12) Soon last, tailed off when slow 4 out, last of 5, dist behind Cracking Find (11-4) at Catterick 2m 3f (4) sft in Mar.