Fiendish Flame looked like taking advantage of his slide down the weights over track and trip last time but couldn't keep tabs on Michael Flips in the closing stages and ended up second. However, he did finish ahead of both Cootehill and Buck Mulligan and should confirm superiority today. ROB CONTI improves with every start over fences and won in good style at Sandown in November. He's taken to overcome a 9lb rise and go in again. Spock has failed to prosper since winning at Worcester last season and Campbonnais is easily dismissed.
Fiendish Flame (IRE) 5-1 (11-10) Led, clear 2nd, not fluent 11th, mistake 3 out, soon headed, no impression on winner last, 2nd of 10, 11l behind Micheal Flips (11-7) at Ludlow 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd.
Cootehill (IRE) 3-1fav (11-6) Mid-division, headway when not fluent 11th, 3rd and one pace when jumped right 4 out, dropped to 4th last, 4th of 10, 20l behind Micheal Flips (11-7) at Ludlow 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd.
Buck Mulligan 7-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, ridden after 12th, one pace before 4 out, went 3rd last, 3rd of 10, 17l behind Micheal Flips (11-7) at Ludlow 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd.
Rob Conti (FR) 7-2 (10-12) Chased leading trio, headway to 3rd at 7th, went 2nd travelling well when hit 3 out, led next, soon in command and stayed on strongly, won at Sandown 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Nov beating Peachey Moment (11-2) by 11l, 6 ran.
Spock (FR) 3-1fav (11-0) Mid-division, outpaced from 7th, behind 9th, 6th of 9, 35l behind Mister Matt (10-6) at Newton Abbot 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Aug.
Campbonnais (FR) 20-1 (11-1) Soon settled behind leaders, 7th halfway, ridden 3 out, soon no extra, 6th of 10, 39l behind Come To The Party (10-9) at Clonmel 3m hcp hdl 8Evens23 in Nov.