Double Ross has gone up 7lb for his win in a similar contest over track and trip last month but should be thereabouts again and appears to have the beating of Drumshambo and Silver Roque. Not for the first time, Cedre Bleu found little at Ascot 11 days ago but the 3m that day probably also stretched his stamina and he won't be far away if Daryl Jacob can play him late. Ludlow winner Pickamus seems to need further nowadays, however, while Kumbeshwar's best form is over 2m. CARRICKBOY hasn't figured in a couple of starts this season but is starting to come down the weights again and the ground will be much more in his favour this afternoon. He gets a tentative vote as Ackertac's yard isn't really firing at present.
Drumshambo (USA) 10-1 (11-8) Mid-division, not fluent 1st, lost place approaching 5th, ridden 8th, well beaten 4 out, tailed off, 8th of 11, well behind Eastlake (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs (2) gd in Dec.
Kumbeshwar 40-1 (10-11) Mid-division, struggling 11th, never on terms, 10th of 20, 23l behind Johns Spirit (10-2) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Ackertac (IRE) 20-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders, ridden before 3 out, weakened before 2 out, 6th of 11, 16l behind Cantlow (11-5) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs (2) gs in Nov.
Silver Roque (FR) 16-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, behind when not fluent 12th, soon pulled up, in a race won by Double Ross (10-8) at Cheltenham 2m 5f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Dec, 13 ran.
Carrickboy (IRE) 33-1 (10-7) Mid-division, lost place 8th, soon behind, tailed off 3 out, 12th of 20, well behind Johns Spirit (10-2) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Cedre Bleu (FR) 10-3 (10-5) Chased leaders on outside, disputing 2nd 3 out, definite 2nd before next, cajoled along to challenge and hung right approaching last, upsides last, every chance flat, refused to go past and outbattled final 100 yards, 2nd of 7, nk behind Houblon Des Obeaux (11-6) at Ascot 3m listed hcp chs (1) sft in Dec.
Double Ross (IRE) 7-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders, pecked 4 out, led 2 out, clear last, all out, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Dec beating Cantlow (11-9) by 2l, 13 ran.
Pickamus (FR) 10-1 (11-12) Led, headed when hit 17th, switched outside 5 out, led again next, hard pressed last, ridden and held on gamely flat, won at Ludlow 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Dec beating Cootehill (11-7) by hd, 9 ran.