Tartak has always struggled to show his best form around here, while this is surely too sharp for Taranis nowadays. Hey Big Spender likes the track but has developed a worrying trend of hitting the deck recently, while I'msingingtheblues gets little respite from the handicapper. Carole's Legacy is back over fences after a successful spell over hurdles, including victory in a mares' Listed hurdle at Kempton on her reappearance, and has to go on the short list but last year's winner CAN'T BUY TIME ticks all the right boxes again. Only a pound higher than when beating Mister McGoldrick among others, he came into this race 12 months ago with a similar uninspiring form figures but thrives off a fast pace over this trip and having McCoy back in the saddle should help him concentrate. The consistent Five Dream and Henry Daly's Pickamus could also play a part.
Taranis (FR) 14-1 (10-4) Mid-division, pushed along in 6th one pace and no chance with leaders from 3 out, 7th of 18, 25l behind Diamond Harry (10-0) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs Grd 3 (1) gs in Nov.
Hey Big Spender (IRE) 25-1 (10-0) Led and tended to jump right, mistake and headed 17th, stayed in 3rd until weakened soon after 3 out, fell last, in a race won by Diamond Harry (10-0) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs Grd 3 (1) gs in Nov, 18 ran.
Tartak (FR) 11-4 (11-0) Led after 1st, headed 3rd, led 8th until 10th, not fluent and slightly outpaced 3 out, left 2nd next, closed last, stayed on under pressure to lead towards finish, won at Newbury 2m 4f Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Dec beating Breedsbreeze (11-0) by 1/2l, 7 ran.
I'msingingtheblues (IRE) 16-1 (11-7) Always in rear, 8th of 13, 39l behind Woolcombe Folly (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs (2) gs in Dec.
Knockara Beau (IRE) 12-1 (10-11) Chased leaders, hit 11th, ridden along and slightly outpaced 14th, stayed on again from 2 out, went 4th last, 4th of 16, 9l behind Midnight Chase (11-3) at Cheltenham 3m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gd in Dec.
Mahogany Blaze (FR) 40-1 (11-7) Behind, ridden and outpaced 5 out, never dangerous, 6th of 9, 24l behind Master Minded (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Can't Buy Time (IRE) 50-1 (10-7) Raced in rear, mistake 4th, detatched approaching 12th, pulled up 4 out, in a race won by Little Josh (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Nov, 18 ran.
Mister McGoldrick 9-2 (11-12) Led 1st, soon headed, tracked leader, led 4 out, drew clear approaching 2 out, easily, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Nov beating Its Crucial (10-3) by 14l, 6 ran.
Carole's Legacy 13-8 (10-12) Tracked leader until not fluent 3 out, ridden and chased leader again approaching 2 out, driven to lead flat, kept on well, won at Kempton 3m mrs lst hdl (1) gd in Nov beating Banjaxed Girl (11-2) by 1l, 6 ran.
Pickamus (FR) 15-2 (11-1) Chased leader 2nd, led after 7th until 9th, led again after 3 out, headed and weakened approaching 2 out,, 5th of 8, 26l behind Woolcombe Folly (11-6) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs (2) gs in Nov.
Door Boy (IRE) 40-1 (10-0) Mid-division, hampered 4 out, soon weakened, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Little Josh (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Nov, 18 ran.
Moon Over Miami (GER) 16-1 (11-10) Behind, hampered badly 10th (bechers brook), struggling 13th, blundered 3 out, never near leaders, 9th of 16, 33l behind Frankie Figg (11-5) at Aintree 2m 5f hcp chs (2) gs in Nov.
Five Dream (FR) 2-1 (11-7) Tracked leader, led narrowly 11th, ridden and headed 3 out, kept on one pace, 2nd of 4, 9l behind Matuhi (11-2) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Nov.
Quito Du Tresor (FR) 15-2 (11-3) Chased leader, not fluent 9th, lost 2nd 3 out, weakened soon after, 7th of 11, 32l behind Dave's Dream (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov.
Patman Du Charmil (FR) 8-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, ridden and hit 8th, weakening when hampered 4 out, tailed off, 11th of 17, well behind Fine Parchment (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 5f cond hcp chs (4yo+) (3) gd in Dec.