Banoge escapes a penalty for his win at Sedgefield in November and, with Len Lungo's stable in good form, he has to be respected in this company but the gelding disappointed back over hurdles last time and a better bet looks to be ET MAINTENANT, who gets the verdict ahead of Teenando. The last mentioned looks the pick of Sue Smith's two runners in this contest ahead of Work Boy, who needs to improve on all known form to trouble the judge. Teenando was good value for his win here last time but this is tougher. Howard Johnson's Action Strasse has been largely disappointing over hurdles but the son of Old Vic may do better now switched to the larger obstacles for the first time. The vote though goes to Lucinda Russell's Et Maintenant who like Banoge escapes a penalty for his one success over fences and, having shown decent form under similar conditions over course and distance last time, he looks the one they all have to beat.
Action Strasse (IRE) 8-1 (11-9) Led, headed before 3 out, soon weakened, 6th of 11, 18l behind Pinewood Legend (10-9) at Ayr 2m nov hcp hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Banoge (IRE) 15-2 (11-9) Held up behind, some headway 3 out, ridden to chase leaders next, weakened last, 7th of 13, well behind Minella Boys (11-2) at Catterick 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) sft in Jan.
Et Maintenant (FR) 28-1 (11-12) Prominent, led 4 out, ridden and headed last, no extra close home, 4th of 11, 7l behind Le Roi Rouge (11-11) at Carlisle 2m hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Feb.
Teenando (IRE) 9-4fav (10-1) Prominent and keen, led 5th, stayed on strongly from 2 out, won at Carlisle 2m 5f cnd hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Feb beating Manoubi (10-3) by 3l, 8 ran.
Work Boy 100-1 (10-11) Held up, weakened approaching 3 out, 7th of 14, 32l behind Minella Theatre (11-4) at Southwell 3m mdn hdl (5) gs in Feb.