VICE ET VERTU looked a nice prospect when beating favourite Regal Diamond at Chepstow and, though the runner-up was well beaten next time, he can find the necessary improvement to defy his penalty in this. Flat winner Dark Dune shaped with promise when fifth at Doncaster and Howaboutnever was third in a Bangor bumper last month. Martin Chuzzlewit ran in a Listed race as a two-year-old but never really fulfilled his potential and may be best watched making his hurdles bow for another new yard.
Vice Et Vertu (FR) 5-2 (11-0) Tracked leader, challenged 3 out, ridden to lead before last, edged right and kept on well run-in, won at Chepstow 2m NH mdn hdl (5) hvy in Nov beating Regal Diamond (11-0) by 1 1/4l, 14 ran.
Badea 40-1 (10-12) Towards rear, ridden 3 out, never near leaders, 6th of 14, 18l behind Tough Trade (10-12) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs.
Benidorm 66-1 (8-3) Mid-division, pushed along over 4f out, weakened 2f out, last of 10, 39l behind Silly Billy (9-8) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Oct (flat).
Dark Dune (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Mid-division, mistakes, headway 5th, weakened after 2 out, 5th of 14, 24l behind Mijhaar (10-12) at Doncaster 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Eeny Mac (IRE) 50-1 (10-9) Held up towards rear and keen, headway approaching 3 out, no impression, 6th of 12, 24l behind Lady Pacha (9-12) at Wetherby 2m 3yo sll hdl (5) gs in Nov '10.
Howaboutnever (IRE) 4-1 (11-9) Led, reminders 5f out, headed over 4f out, kept on one pace, 3rd of 4, 8l behind A Vos Gardes (10-7) at Bangor 2m 1f mdn nat hunt flat (6) sft in Nov.
Indigo Island (IRE) 100-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders, pushed along and weakened before 2 out, last of 4, 27l behind Mr Utah (10-9) at Sedgefield 2m 5f mdn hdl (5) gs.
Martin Chuzzlewit (IRE) 12-1 (8-12) Led, ridden and headed 3f out, no impression over 1f out, 12th of 18, 5l behind Lahaag (9-9) at York 1m 4f hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Oct (flat).
Spanish Fleet 100-1 (10-5) Held up towards rear, effort before 3 out, never a factor, 7th of 12, 24l behind Diamond King (10-12) at Wetherby 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.