BALLYBRIGGAN came unstuck when stepped up in class at Aintree on his return from a lay-off. But he'd scored in this grade at Sedgefield before that and is only 2lb higher today. Rocking Blues jumping is becoming a worry and he also looked held when falling on his latest start. Prince Tam was well beaten despite finishing runner-up over these fences last time and Bocamix makes more appeal, while both Shadrack and Zaru have the past form to figure if at their best.
Shadrack (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Held up mid-division, left 2nd from 7th, every chance 4 out, one pace before 2 out, 3rd of 7, 16l behind Next Sensation (11-10) at Newcastle 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Nov.
Ballybriggan (IRE) 9-2 (10-9) Held up in last, took keen hold, not always fluent, some headway before 3 out, no impression, soon weakened, 5th of 7, 28l behind Eastlake (11-8) at Aintree 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Oct.
Zaru (FR) 3-1fav (11-12) Chased leaders, joined winner 8th, lost place before 10th, outpaced from 5 out, mistake 2 out, ridden before last, no impression, 6th of 8, 14l behind Tutchec (10-12) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Nov.
Olympian Boy (IRE) 33-1 (9-11) Mistakes in rear, blundered and stumbled 3rd, blundered 7th, tailed off when blundered 3 out, 14th of 15, well behind Drumshambo (11-4) at Ascot 2m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gs in Nov.
Rupert Bear 17-2 (10-7) Led until after 3rd, tracke dleaders, led 4th, headed 6th, led again 5 out, headed before 3 out, soon weakened, 5th of 8, 26l behind Definite Dream (10-10) at Carlisle 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Oct.
Rocking Blues (FR) 11-2 (10-7) Held up in touch, chased leaders halfway, effort 4 out, staying on same pace in 3rd when fell last, in a race won by Coverholder (10-6) at Sedgefield 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Nov, 6 ran.
Bocamix (FR) 4-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, pushed along 12th, led 3 out, headed last, held towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1 3/4l behind Monbeg (10-3) at Sedgefield 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Nov.
Prince Tam 12-1 (9-9) Tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd before 2 out, one pace and no impression, 2nd of 7, 14l behind Next Sensation (11-10) at Newcastle 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Nov.