PRINCESS FLAME was good value for her success at Leicester last month and Brendan Powell's mare looks more than capable of defying the 7lb rise for that win and she gets the vote ahead of Los Nadis and Moonhawk. Howard Johnson's gelding ran better at Newcastle last month and he has every chance if able to build on that effort. Lucinda Russell's Prosecco has been running consistently well this term and should again be thereabouts but may once more have to settle for minor honours. Young Albert reverts back to hurdles after a couple of disappointing runs over fences but is hard to recommend, while Manhattan Boy looks plenty high enough in the weights over hurdles. Peter Monteith's Los Nadis was undoubtedly flattered by his run behind Binocular but even so is potentially well treated off his current mark and he has to be considered but Princess Flame has an obvious chance and she gets the vote.
Los Nadis (GER) 7-1 (10-13) Held up in touch, led after 4 out, headed 3 out, weakened approaching next, 4th of 9, 29l behind Charlie Crab (11-3) at Doncaster 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) sft in Dec.
Manhattan Boy (GER) 33-1 (11-5) Chased leaders, every chance 4 out, ridden approaching 2 out, one pace, 4th of 12, 8l behind Issaquah (10-10) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Best Prospect (IRE) 12-1 (11-1) Held up behind, not fluent, in 6th and beaten when blundered 2 out, 8th of 10, 24l behind Cedrus Libani (11-12) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gf in Nov.
Princess Flame (GER) 14-1 (10-10) Always prominent, led 5th, ridden approaching 2 out, stayed on well, won at Leicester 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec beating Good Spirit (11-7) by 4l, 13 ran.
Open de L'Isle (FR) 18-1 (10-8) In touch, blundered and lost place 10th, no danger after, 8th of 12, 20l behind Akilak (11-4) at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp chs (2) sft in Dec.
Young Albert (IRE) 5-1 (11-2) Mid-division, not fluent, ridden and well behind from 3 out, 5th of 10, well behind Skippers Brig (11-2) at Carlisle 2m 5f nov chs (3) hvy in Nov.
Kid'z'play (IRE) 25-1 (11-10) Tracked leader, lost place after 2 out, soon ridden and weakened, 4th of 12, 26l behind Catch The Perk (11-4) at Perth 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Jul '07.
Moonhawk 10-1 (10-8) Held up behind, headway approaching 3 out, left 3rd 2 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 11, 8l behind Pagan Starprincess (11-5) at Newcastle 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Dec.
Prosecco (IRE) 7-1 (10-10) Behind, mistake 1st, headway 2 out, stayed on, 3rd of 12, 7l behind Issaquah (10-10) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Nelson du Ronceray (FR) 7-1 (10-4) Chased leaders, weakened 3 out, 7th of 11, 25l behind Pagan Starprincess (11-5) at Newcastle 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Dec.
Stainley (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Led, headed 2 out, soon weakened, 8th of 15, 26l behind Theatre Belle (11-5) at Aintree 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in May.
Ethan's Star (IRE) 40-1 (10-9) Behind, saddle slipped 1st, disputed lead before next until pulled up at the 4th in race won by Kyber (10-5) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Dec, 12 ran.
Arigna (IRE) 25-1 (11-12) Held up in touch, weakened 4 out, tailed off when pulled up 2 out in race won by Soul Angel (10-11) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) hvy in Dec, 10 ran.
Tiger King (GER) 12-1 (10-8) Mid-division until weakened from 8th, 9th of 15, well behind Viper (11-5) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gf in Dec.
Oleolat (FR) 12-1 (9-12) Held up towards rear, effort 3 out, weakened approaching next, 17th of 18, well behind Issaquah (9-7) at Kelso 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Nov.
Nevsky Bridge 13-2 (11-11) Towards rear, mid-division from halfway, clipped heels and unseated rider 3 out in race won by Agglestone Rock (10-4) at Sedgefield 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft in Dec, 14 ran.