Alfasonic, The Last Cast and Victory Gunner are the three to look at here and the testing ground may suit The Last Cast who can go one better than a runner up spot last time. Twice a winner in novice events last season, Alfasoonic won decisively last time, having been pulled up on his re-appearance. A seven pound rise in the ratings may not be enough to stop him and he is respected. Victory Gunner needed a real stamina test to score last time and he may need further than this and is taken on after an eleven pound hike in the weights. The Last Cast's last win came at Uttoxeter two years ago on testing ground, and winless since, he ran his best race for some time when finishing a close second here last time. He has been harshly raised seven pounds for finishing second but he has conditions to suit and The Last Cast can land this prize.
Habitual Dancer 10-1 (11-4) Blundered and dropped rear 2nd, tailed off when pulled up at the 15th in race won by Numero Un de Solzen (11-1) at Newcastle 3m nov chs (3) sft, 5 ran.
Hirvine (FR) 20-1 (11-12) Soon tracking leaders, mistake 6th, joined leaders approaching 8th, ridden approaching 2 out, faded before last, 5th of 9, 16l behind Huka Lodge (10-9) at Haydock 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy.
Desert Tommy 17-2 (10-13) Led, not fluent 8th, ridden approaching 3 out, headed towards finish, no extra, 2nd of 9, 4l behind Huka Lodge (10-9) at Haydock 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy.
The Last Cast 16-1 (9-9) Made most, ridden after 3 out, headed approaching last, no extra, 2nd of 11, 3 1/2l behind Rowley Hill (10-1) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) hvy.
Alfasonic 9-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, led after 3 out, soon clear, eased flat, won at Lingfield 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) hvy beating Mylo (10-1) by 5l, 13 ran.
Mixsterthetrixster (USA) 40-1 (9-11) In touch, ridden and weakened 3 out, last of 11, well behind Rowley Hill (10-1) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) hvy.
Longueville Manor (FR) 7-1 (11-6) Held up, headway after 7th, ridden after 3 out, soon weakened, 4th of 8, 30l behind Ever Special (9-7) at Leicester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) sft in Dec.
Ile de Paris (FR) 10-1 (10-11) Mid-division, ridden and stayed on from 4 out to chase leaders and one pace, 3rd of 17, 5l behind The Real Deal (10-9) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (3) sft in Dec.
Mister Sher (IRE) 25-1 (10-11) Towards rear, lost touch 8th, tailed off when pulled up 5 out in race won by Chamacco (10-0) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) hvy in Nov, 8 ran.
Columbus (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) Towards rear and keen, ridden and headway after 10th, weakened 2 out, 8th of 15, 29l behind Before Dark (11-0) at Hereford 3m 2f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) sft in Dec.
Dark Corner 25-1 (10-12) In touch, headway 8th, ridden to chase winner 2 out, one pace, 3rd of 15, 3 1/2l behind Joaaci (10-12) at Hereford 3m 2f nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Victory Gunner (IRE) 3-1 (10-7) Held up, headway approaching 7th, ridden 4 out, stayed on to lead close home, won at Market Rasen 3m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (3) sft in Dec beating Orki Des Aigles (9-9) by a shd, 9 ran.