Midnight Appeal and Graduation Night both sport headgear for the first time and neither can be ignored while Richard's Sundance certainly has the ability to win a race of this nature, though his suspect jumping will be put to the test by these tricky fences. Sound Stage fell at the last at Newbury last month in a race in which Marufo and Upham Atom were unplaced. But Caroline Keevil's charge had run well up to that point and could easily make the frame here. Minella Theatre is coming down the weights and could figure again but it's difficult to fault the overall form of TIME FOR SPRING, who jumps well for a novice and is probably still improving. He can give the Longsdon team a quick double.
Beat The Boys (IRE) 9-1 (11-3) Chased leader until 11th, ridden 14th, lost 3rd next, weakened 17th, tailed off, 5th of 7, 44l behind Triggerman (10-10) at Cheltenham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-150 (2) gd in Apr.
Latanier (FR) 9-1 (10-5) Prominent, lost place 11th, jumped right next, soon weakened, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Hey Big Spender (11-12) at Warwick 2m 4f hcp chs (2) gs in Feb '11.
Time For Spring (IRE) 6-1 (10-7) Prominent when blundered 2nd, held up, headway 6th, mistake 13th, hit 4 out, soon led, ridden approaching 2 out, headed flat, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 6, 2 1/4l behind Made In Time (10-6) at Taunton 2m 7f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Jan.
Midnight Appeal 15-2 (10-10) Held up in 7th place towards rear, headway to 4th when blundered 4 out, left 3rd and slightly hampered 3 out, left 2nd and went left 2 out, kept on under pressure flat, never able to get to winner, 2nd of 12, 3 1/2l behind Fruity O'Rooney (11-7) at Kempton 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd in Dec.
Richard's Sundance (IRE) 10-1 (11-7) Led 2nd, not fluent 10th, ridden 4 out, headed approaching next, soon beaten, 3rd of 12, 19l behind Zarrafakt (11-1) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Jan.
Graduation Night 7-2 (11-2) Tracked leaders, dropped to rear but in touch 5th, struggling 12th, soon lost touch, tailed off when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Harry The Viking (11-3) at Doncaster 3m 2f Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) gs in Dec, 6 ran.
Sound Stage 9-1 (11-11) Took keen hold in mid-division, headway to lead approaching 8th (water), where not fluent, ridden and headed approaching 4 out, chased leading trio but no extra from 3 out, well held in 4th when fell last, in a race won by Glens Boy (10-11) at Newbury 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Jan, 16 ran.
Minella Theatre (IRE) 10-3fav (10-8) Held up in rear, closed 10th, went 2nd approaching 2 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 7, 20l behind Consigliere (11-5) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Jan.
Roseneath (IRE) 10-1 (11-6) In rear, weakened before 15th, tailed off and soon pulled up, in a race won by Midnight Haze (11-11) at Ludlow 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Dec, 9 ran.
Marufo (IRE) 9-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, headway on inside approaching 4 out, went right 2 out, no impression when left modest 4th last, weakened flat, 5th of 16, 19l behind Glens Boy (10-11) at Newbury 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Jan.
Upham Atom 20-1 (11-4) Mistake 1st, went right next, took keen hold, held up in rear, never on terms, 8th of 16, 34l behind Glens Boy (10-11) at Newbury 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Jan.
Martys Mission (IRE) 8-1 (10-8) Mid-division, mistake 14th, effort before 3 out, weakened next, 7th of 14, 39l behind Minella Boys (11-4) at Plumpton 3m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Jan '11.
Loch Ba (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Mid-division, lost place 9th, ridden to chase leaders before 3 out, kept on same pace under pressure, never on terms, 4th of 13, 19l behind Our Mick (11-8) at Kempton 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Dec.