SHOTAVODKA couldn't match the pace of Holywell on his chasing bow at Catterick but the winner is a potentially useful novice so there was no disgrace in that. He jumped well and can see off Bellenos in receipt of 7lb. Dan Skelton's gelding was out of his depth at Doncaster last time but has to be respected on an earlier defeat of Rio De Sivola at Ascot and preferred to the more exposed Flaming Charmer. Duaiseoir has a lot to prove after his latest run at Ludlow and Wicklewood is even more difficult to fancy.
Bellenos (FR) 7-2 (10-7) Held up in rear, effort before 4 out, went 4th before 3 out, no impression, 6th of 8, 44l behind Simply Ned (10-11) at Doncaster 2m hcp chs (2) gs in Jan.
Flaming Charmer (IRE) 9-5fav (10-9) Tracked leaders in 3rd, mistake 10th, ridden before 3 out, soon weakened, in 3rd when fell last, in a race won by Bertie Boru (10-7) at Wincanton 2m 5f (3) hvy in Jan, 5 ran.
Duaiseoir (IRE) 11-1 (10-8) Soon in rear, well outpaced from 6th, left in poor 4th and slightly hampered 3 out, no chance when refused last, in a race won by Lord Of House (11-7) at Ludlow 2m (3) hvy in Jan, 5 ran.
Shotavodka (IRE) 11-10 (11-0) Led to 4th, chased clear leader, led again before 3 out, headed after 2 out, no extra after last, 2nd of 5, 4 1/2l behind Holywell (11-0) at Catterick 2m 3f beg chase (4) sft in Jan.
Wicklewood 100-1 (11-3) Chased leaders early, towards rear 3rd, not fluent next, weakened from 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Horatio Hornblower (11-3) at Ffos Las 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy.