REAL MILAN was a very decent novice hurdler last term and made a confident start over fences when beating two rivals at Carlisle. The step up in trip won't be a problem and Donald McCain's charge will likely be a short price to win for a fifth time in seven career starts. Dark Glacier hasn't taken to fences so far but Papamoa won at Hexham in November, though was beaten a long way at Kelso under a penalty next time. Netminder and Nuts N Bolts may be open to some improvement but My Mate Vic is surely best watched racing for the first time since early 2009.
Papamoa 12-1 (11-6) Chased clear winner until 7th, chased leading pair, went distant 2nd again last, never any chance with unchallenged winner, 2nd of 5, 23l behind Rival D'estruval (11-6) at Kelso 2m 7f nov chs (2) sft in Dec.
Real Milan (IRE) 10-11 (11-0) Led to 2nd, tracked leader, led before 2 out, kept on strongly, won at Carlisle 2m 5f beg chs (3) hvy in Dec beating Poole Master (11-0) by 6l, 3 ran.
Dark Glacier (IRE) 15-2 (11-5) Close up, reminders after 9th, soon lost place, tailed off when pulled up 12th, in a race won by Red Rocco (11-2) at Newcastle 3m Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) hvy in Dec, 6 ran.
My Mate Vic (IRE) 11-4 (11-12) Nvr on terms, 7th of 13, 19l behind Go Moss Go (12-5) at Witton Castle 3m ptp gf in May '10.
Netminder (IRE) 4-1 (10-6) Always behind, bumped before 12th, weakened before 2 out, 5th of 6, 15l behind Red Rocco (11-2) at Newcastle 3m Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) hvy in Dec.
Nuts N Bolts 8-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, outpaced before 4 out, never on terms, 7th of 10, 23l behind Bury Parade (10-13) at Carlisle 2m beg chs (4) sft in Oct.