Grouse Lodge ended last season with victory in a novices' handicap at Cheltenham. He should go on to better things this term and the same can be said of Denali Highway. The latter showed progressive form to land a hat-trick last season and is 7lb higher on his return. NO PLANNING has the more recent form with a close-up third to Grandads Horse over a shorter trip here on his reappearance. That could give Sue Smith's chaser the edge and he gets the nod. Scotswell also has a recent run under his belt when second at Ayr and he's preferred to Chac Du Cadran.
Grouse Lodge (IRE) 16-1 (11-1) Led 1st until 5th, led next, not fluent 12th, headed 3 out, rallied 2 out, not fluent last, stayed on to lead again close home, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Apr beating Velator (10-13) by 1/2l, 9 ran.
Denali Highway (IRE) 11-8fav (11-6) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 13th, led 2 out, idled last, driven clear towards finish, won at Warwick 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Mar beating Have You Seen Me (11-12) by 5l, 3 ran.
No Planning 6-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, challenged and mistake 4 out, every chance last, no extra and lost 2nd place close home, 3rd of 8, 1 1/2l behind Grandads Horse (11-12) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Oct.
Chac Du Cadran (FR) 7-1 (11-12) Led, pecked 1st, joined 8th, fell 10th, in a race won by Papamoa (10-8) at Carlisle 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Oct, 9 ran.
Scotswell 16-1 (10-7) Tracked leader, led 3rd, headed 4 out, every chance before 2 out, ridden and weakened before last, soon left 2nd, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 7l behind Green Flag (11-1) at Ayr 3m 1f (3) sft.
Royal Sam (IRE) 12-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, not fluent 3rd or 9th, lost 2nd 11th, outpaced from 5 out, well held from 4 out, 4th of 6, 27l behind Mendip Express (10-12) at Wetherby 3m 1f nov chs (4) gs.
Frank The Slink 14-1 (11-12) In rear and outpaced, plugged on from 4 out, went 4th after last, never dangerous, 4th of 8, 13l behind Tutchec (11-2) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gs in Oct.