Always Waining won the Topham Chase at Aintree last April and reverts to hurdling off a 28lb lower mark on his return. However, he's much better over fences nowadays and MR PUCK makes more appeal. The latter makes his handicap debut on the back of a recent second to Dungeel and Keith Reveley can boast an impressive strike rate with his hurdlers at this track. Minella For Steak made a winning debut at Folkestone but has to be forgiven a dire effort on his latest start while Lisheen Hill wasn't disgraced on his handicap bow at Doncaster and is another who could figure.
Brough Academy (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, driven 6th, reminder after 8th, soon lost place, behind when fell 4 out, in a race won by Fred The Shred (10-3) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec, 13 ran.
Mr Puck (IRE) 6-4fav (10-12) Led, headed 7th, challenged last, no extra close home, 2nd of 6, 4l behind Dungeel (11-5) at Catterick 3m 1f nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Chadford 14-1 (10-13) Pressed leader, led before 9th, blundered and headed 9th, blundered badly next and pulled up before 11th, in a race won by Preuty Boy (10-10) at Lingfield 3m nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy, 4 ran.
Minella For Steak (IRE) 3-1 (11-5) Chased leaders, went 2nd 4 out until ridden next, no extra in 3rd before 2 out, tailed off, 3rd of 7, well behind Bucking The Trend (11-5) at Leicester 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Mr Jay Dee (IRE) 50-1 (10-8) Chased leaders, lost place 8th, pecked 12th, 6th and no chance when went badly right 2 out, 6th of 11, 43l behind Godsmejudge (11-1) at Folkestone 3m 1f beg chs (4) gd in Dec.
Always Waining (IRE) 11-1 (10-11) Chased leaders, led before elbow, soon ridden, stayed on strongly final 150 yards, won at Aintree 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr beating Chance Du Roy (11-7) by 4 1/2l, 26 ran.
Lisheen Hill (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, headway from 4 out, ridden before last, no extra, 7th of 19, 6l behind Harvey's Hope (11-9) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Jan.
Royal Deal 7-1 (11-9) Chased leaders, every chance 3 out, led 2 out, headed last, weakened and lost 3rd place towards finish, 4th of 18, 5l behind Giveitachance (11-9) at Doncaster 3m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gd.
Rory Boy (USA) 66-1 (11-8) Held up in mid-division, well beaten after 8th, tailed off, 14th of 15, well behind Genstone Trail (10-13) at Huntingdon 3m 2f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Oct.
The Society Man (IRE) 17-2 (9-13) Prominent, ridden after 3 out, stayed on same pace next, no impression, went 3rd before last, 3rd of 7, 9l behind White Fusion (11-10) at Catterick 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft.
Mumbles Pier (IRE) 33-1 (10-9) Led until 1st, tracked leaders, weakened before 3 out, 6th of 9, well behind Dream Again Boys (11-12) at Ffos Las 3m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) hvy in Jan.