HOLLOW BLUE SKY returned from a lengthy absence to score on his chasing bow at Carlisle four weeks ago. If that hasn't taken too much out of him, Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge is capable of going in again off a 7lb higher mark. Whiskey Ridge looked as though he had more to offer when winning very easily over this course and distance in May. He's been bumped up 16lb for that effort but will be staying on here when others have cried enough. Allanard only found one too good at Hexham last month when Ultra Du Chatelet was behind, and likewise Goodtoknow over 2m5f here. Frank The Slink was runner-up at Newcastle last time and Glen Countess is consistent but possibly a couple of pounds too high at present.
The Thirsty Bricky (IRE) 16-1 (11-1) Held up, closed when not fluent 5 out, soon outpaced, unable to get on terms, stayed on flat, went 4th close home, 4th of 7, 7l behind Duke Of Monmouth (11-4) at Uttoxeter 2m 6f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft.
Ultra Du Chatelet (FR) 9-1 (11-0) Mid-division in 4th, went 3rd before 6th, in 4th when unseated rider 10th, in a race won by Papamoa (10-8) at Carlisle 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Oct, 9 ran.
Allanard (IRE) 15-2 (11-6) Mid-division, jumped slowly 2nd, pushed along after 6th, headway before 3 out, went 2nd before last, no impression on winner, 2nd of 7, 8l behind Rossini's Dancer (11-5) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Oct.
Goodtoknow 8-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders, lost place 5th, headway before 4 out, ridden before 2 out, chased winner before last, kept on towards finish, 2nd of 8, 3/4l behind Badger Foot (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gs.
Hollow Blue Sky (FR) 7-2fav (11-2) Held up in touch, not fluent 3rd, headway before 4 out, went 2nd 2 out, led last, kept on, won at Carlisle 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Oct beating The Nephew (11-10) by nk, 14 ran.
Frank The Slink 16-1 (11-11) Held up towards rear, went 3rd 7 out, ridden before 4 out, left 2nd 2 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 6, 14l behind Settledoutofcourt (10-11) at Newcastle 3m hcp chs 0-110 (4) gd.
Jewel In The Sun (IRE) 15-2 (10-8) In touch, weakened before 4 out, 5th of 6, 28l behind Sean Airgead (11-7) at Cartmel 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Aug.
Glen Countess (IRE) 2-1fav (11-11) Led to 3rd, remained prominent, driven to lead again before 3 out, headed next, no impression in 3rd from last, 3rd of 5, 6l behind Dancing Daffodil (10-9) at Southwell 3m mares nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft.
Whiskey Ridge (IRE) 3-1fav (9-13) Led to 1st, led again 5th, made rest, clear from 4 out, eased towards finish, won at Wetherby 2m 6f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gs in May beating Attycran (11-7) by 23l, 10 ran.