Best to focus on the three chase winners, Derintoher Yank has struggled since his chase win in October and his jumping fell apart towards the end of his race last time at Doncaster. Delegate has had just the one run for this stable so far and should improve for the wind operation, but DIVINE SPEAR has looked all class in two runs over fences so far and can make it 3-3 over the larger obstacles today, he bolted up at Ascot last time and can take this before tackling one of the festival races in the spring.
Divine Spear | J: Nico de Boinville T: Nicky Henderson
A useful handicap hurdler for this yard last season, he began his chasing career at Catterick in November jumping well and running out a 3 lengths winner. Much more impressive last time at Ascot, galloping his rivals into submission and winning by 10 lengths. Gives weight to the rest of the field now but should be too classy.
Delegate | J: Brian Hughes T: Keith Dalgleish
Ex Gigginstown owned 8-year-old sold for £25,000 in September and moved to Keith Dalgleish. Made his debut for this stable when 3rd at Sedgefield in November, he now moves back into Novice company. Stable have a strike-rate of 41% with their chasers in the last 5 years and jockey/trainer strike-rate when teaming up is 31% this season.
Derintoher Yank | J: Will Kennedy T: Donald McCain
Made it 2-2 since the application of a hood when a cosy winner on just his second chase start at Carlisle in October, not as good in three runs since and well beaten on his last two runs both in handicaps. Back into novice company today, but probably vulnerable to an improving horse and could do with brushing up his jumping at times.
Court Painter | J: Mr Alex Chadwick T: Victor Thompson
Just the one win in 15 starts for this yard under rules and point to pointing, some promise in his run at Musselburgh in January when a 16-lengths 4th but pulled up at Catterick last month and an awful lot to prove in this sort of company on what he has shown so far.
Mr Witmore | J: Alison Clarke T: Kenny Johnson
Still a maiden after 21 starts for Michael Smith initially and now Kenny Johnson, just 5/1 for a handicap at Catterick last time but beaten 17 lengths into 5th (although his rider received a 28-day ban for failing to ride the horse on his merits) back in novice company and very little to recommend here.