KNOCKGRAFFON KING came good over fences when landing a Class 3 chase at Newcastle last month. Donald McCain's charge can shrug off a 6lb rise in the weights dropped in class for this. The Friary failed to cope with a 5lb rise for scoring at Hexham when only third at Carlisle last time, but Oil Burner beat a subsequent winner over course and distance on his latest start and should be thereabouts once again. Outlaw Tom and Mister Philson are harder to fancy on recent form though both have slipped back down to a winning mark.
Knockgraffon King (IRE) 7-2fav (10-13) Chased leader, led 12th, ridden before 4 out, kept on, driven out, won at Newcastle 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Jan beating Rolecarr (11-5) by 2 1/2l, 6 ran.
The Friary (IRE) 11-4 (11-4) In touch in rear, pushed along 10th, ridden 13th, blundered 2 out, went 3rd flat, 3rd of 5, 13l behind Wayward Glance (11-12) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Dec.
Outlaw Tom (IRE) 40-1 (11-1) Prominent on outside, led 4th until next, lost place approaching 4 out, soon weakened, tailed off when blundered badly last, last of 9, well behind Moscow Presents (11-9) at Haydock 3m cond hcp hdl 0-1115 (4) sft in Dec.
Mister Philson (IRE) 16-1 (10-10) Led and disputed early, headed 7th, ridden along 5 out, led again after 4 out, headed 3 out, soon no impression on leaders, 4th of 10, 17l behind Blissful Moment (10-10) at Down Royal 3m hcp chs 0-116 hvy.
Oil Burner 11-1 (11-7) Held up behind, headway before 10th, went 2nd before 4 out, led before last, kept on well run-in, won at Ayr 3m 1f hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy in Jan beating Too Cool To Fool (10-7) by 10l, 12 ran.