Pyjama Game was put up 10lb for two autumn successes and now finds himself having to concede weight all round in this marathon slog on soft ground. He was a fair fourth behind Carrigdhoun at Carlisle last time off his new mark and it will be interesting to see how he copes with the step up in trip. Matmata De Tendron may be 13 but his last four wins have all arrived here and he certainly will be one that will be plugging on when others have cried enough as his latest success amply demonstrated. He's a solid each-way shout off bottom weight but the choice is MERLIN'S WISH. With only four starts to his name under Rules, he must surely improve on efforts to date which have hitherto shown him to be a potentially decent stayer in the making. He gives the impression he'll stay the trip and receives the vote. Irish raider Cilliseal has place claims.
Pyjama Game (IRE) 9-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, pushed along after 10th, not fluent 12th, in 4th and very one pace from 4 out, 4th of 7, 9l behind Carrigdhoun (11-5) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Oct.
On Broadway 12-1 (11-5) Pushed along towards rear, reminders before 7th, tailed off before 5 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Hollow Blue Sky (11-2) at Carlisle 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Oct, 14 ran.
Merlin's Wish 5-1fav (11-10) Close up, led 2nd, headed after 7th, led 9th, headed 11th, blundered 4 out, stayed on to take 2nd place towards finish, 2nd of 12, 1 1/4l behind Stormyisland Ahead (11-6) at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy.
The Big Freeze (IRE) 20-1 (10-3) Took keen hold, tracked leaders, lost place 7th, well beaten after 4 out, tailed off, 13th of 15, well behind Hunters Lodge (11-3) at Cheltenham 3m am hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Oct.
Camden George (IRE) 40-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, took closer order 3rd, led 10th, headed 12th, one pace, 4th of 9, 27l behind Snuker (10-0) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy.
Beau Dandy (IRE) 11-2 (11-1) Held up in rear, headway after 9th, every chance 3 out, left 2nd 2 out, kept on and held towards finish, 2nd of 8, 1 1/2l behind Orange Nassau (11-12) at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gs.
Cilliseal (IRE) 11-2 (11-5) Towards rear, struggling 12th, headway under pressure 15th, chased clear pair 2 out, ridden between last 2, never on terms, just held on for moderate 3rd, 3rd of 9, 22l behind Matmata de Tendron (10-6) at Hexham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft.
Matmata de Tendron (FR) 14-1 (10-6) Disputed lead until went on approaching 14th, made rest, drew clear after 2 out, ridden out flat, won at Hexham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft beating Presented (11-12) by 11l, 9 ran.