Best Lover tackles this trip for the first time and though showing no signs of stopping over shorter an 8lb rise for his latest victory may prove just too much. Categorical has won four times over fences but he's gone up 3lb for being beaten last time and he's another who could just be a few pounds high. Charingworth came with a storming late run to snatch the spoils over 2m at Wetherby and is better suited by this trip. He's definitely on the short-list but Diamond Frontier ran so poorly in that latter event that he's best watched for now. PENTIFFIC, a multiple winner in Australia, landed a minor race at Huntingdon before a fine effort at Cheltenham where he may have won but for being impeded. He looks capable of better and gets the vote from a fair mark.
Best Lover (FR) 10-3 (11-12) Led to 3rd, with leader, led 7th, not fluent 2 out, ridden before last, kept on well, won at Wetherby 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Nov beating Woody Waller (11-12) by 1 3/4l, 7 ran.
Categorical 28-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, headway and switched left before 3 out, ran on from last, just failed, 2nd of 11, ns behind Morgan Be (11-2) at Newcastle 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Jan.
Diamond Frontier (IRE) 7-2 (10-4) Tracked leading pair, challenged 6th until after 8th, weakened 4 out, behind when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Charingworth (9-7) at Wetherby 2m hcp chs 0-150 (2) sft in Dec, 7 ran.
Charingworth (IRE) 15-2 (9-7) Held up in last pair, headway 4 out, chased leading pair next, ridden 2 out, rallied flat, led final strides, won at Wetherby 2m hcp chs 0-150 (2) sft in Dec beating Pret A Thou (10-8) by hd, 7 ran.
Dinarius 28-1 (11-4) Led narrowly, hit 1st, headed 3rd, with leader, lost place after 5 out, ridden after next, weakened 3 out, mistake last, tailed off, 5th of 6, well behind Giorgio Quercus (11-7) at Haydock 2m 5f grd chs (5yo+) (2) hvy in Jan.
Pentiffic (NZ) 20-1 (10-8) Pressed leader, led 3rd, headed 2 out, soon ridden, kept on under pressure flat, just held for 2nd, 3rd of 16, 2 3/4l behind Bless The Wings (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov chs (2) gs in Jan.
Buffalo Bob (IRE) 8-1 (10-13) Led after 1st, headed 10th, weakened approaching 4 out, tailed off, 6th of 14, well behind Hunt Ball (10-6) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Jan.