Most of these have a bit to prove at present with Upham Atom and The Falklander both hitting the deck on their latest outing. Rif is a winner over hurdles here but has been well beaten in two runs over fences, while there is no guarantee that Picture In The Sky will reproduce his latest second at Wincanton. RATE OF KNOTS would prefer a bit further but the stiff nature of this track will bring her stamina into play and she's only been raised a couple of pounds since going close at Ffos Las last month. Jonjo O'Neill's mare can end her losing run at the main expense of Ammunition, who likes it here but may just need his first run since the spring.
Rate of Knots (IRE) 2-1fav (11-12) Tracked leading pair, chased winner before 4 out, ridden 3 out, upsides winner when blundered last, driven and stayed on, 2nd of 5, 1l behind Kaybeew (11-7) at Ffos Las 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Nov.
Rif (FR) 14-1 (11-0) Led in start, held up in rear, not fluent 5th, mistake next, headway to 4th approaching 4 out, mistake and weakened 4 out, poor 4th when hit 2 out, 4th of 7, 21l behind Old Wigmore (11-0) at Exeter 3m Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) gs in Nov.
Upham Atom 17-2 (11-12) Not always fluent, held up in rear, good headway on outside from 4 out, chasing leaders when went right 3 out, disputing close 2nd when fell 2 out, in a race won by Master Cobbler (10-8) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs, 7 ran.
Ammunition (IRE) 7-1 (11-12) Held up in last trio, closer order 5th, driven and no impression when mistake and weakened 3 out, 6th of 8, 43l behind Dennis The Legend (11-8) at Towcester 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gf in May.
The Falklander 20-1 (10-8) Held up towards rear, not fluent 2nd, headway approaching 8th, 6th when fell 10th, in a race won by Roalco De Farges (11-6) at Newbury 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Nov, 15 ran.
Picture In The Sky (IRE) 9-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, led 1st, headed 14th, led again 3 out, headed last, kept on, 2nd of 7, 2l behind Digger Gets Lucky (11-5) at Wincanton 3m 3f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Nov.
Nous Voila (FR) 15-2 (10-3) Jumped slow, soon behind, tailed off 4th, 7th of 9, well behind Autumm Spirit (10-0) at Leicester 2m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) gf in Mar.