Qaspal and Thelobstercatcher have both been most disappointing since their attentions have been switched to the larger obstacles and are worth opposing again here. Merrion Square has plenty of scope, however, while Paddy The Hare has ability but was difficult to win with over hurdles. KINGSMERE had How's D Strawboss well behind when opening his account over fences at Cartmel. This is a lot tougher but he's learning with experience and should get home on this sharp track where he has already won over timber. Henry Daly's gelding gets the vote.
Beside The Fire 16-1 (11-5) Prominent, mistake 6th, jumped right and lost place 8th, ridden after 9th, behind from 10th, 7th of 10, well behind Johnny's Way (10-12) at Worcester 2m 7f nov chs (4) gd in Jun.
Kingsmere 1-3fav (11-0) Tracked leaders, led 4 out, drew well clear after last, comfortably, won at Cartmel 2m 5f beg chase (4) gd in Jun beating Mystified (11-0) by 11l, 6 ran.
How's D Strawboss (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Keen early, led after 2nd, headed 4 out, soon behind, ridden after last, plugged on to go moderate 3rd over 1f out, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 6, 23l behind Kingsmere (11-0) at Cartmel 2m 5f beg chase (4) gd in Jun.
Merrion Square (IRE) 2-1fav (11-0) Took keen hold, close 5th tracking leaders, went 3rd 10th, stayed on to 2nd before 2 out, lost 2nd blundered and weakened quickly from 2 out, 6th of 8, 47l behind The Black Baron (11-0) at Folkestone 2m 5f mdn chs (5) gs in Jan.
Paddy The Hare (IRE) 11-4 (11-5) Held up tracking leading trio, hit 5th, headway on inside approaching 7th, switched right and hit 3 out, ridden and stayed on to 3rd before last, 3rd of 5, 11l behind Bunclody (11-4) at Wetherby 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Jun.
Qaspal (FR) 4-1fav (10-11) Held up towards rear, headway before 7th, weakened before 4 out, blundered next, 5th of 10, 27l behind Shoreacres (11-1) at Worcester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Jun.
Thelobstercatcher 9-2 (11-1) Held up in touch, headway 11th, went 3rd 13th, chased winner and every chance when wanted to edge left before last, kept on same pace, held flat, 2nd of 7, 3/4l behind Herons Well (11-6) at Aintree 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Jun.