HIGHLAND VALLEY is held in high regard by Emma Lavelle and shrugged off negative vibes in the betting ring to score decisively on his hurdling debut at Exeter. There is plenty of stamina in his pedigree so this slightly longer distance should suit and he can extend his unbeaten record under rules. Mossley still needs to brush up his jumping but had few problems landing the odds at Huntingdon in October and can only improve. Sybarite's second over 2m5f here last month was a promising start over timber while Golden Chieftain won very easily at Chepstow, though looks the type that may always show his best form with plenty of give in the ground. Ffos Las winner Teaforthree may be the pick of the remainder.
Badgers Cove (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Held up in 4th, jumped slowly 7th, slightly outpaced when hit rails on bend before 3 out, rallied last, led flat, stayed on well, won at Ludlow 2m 5f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gs in Nov beating Flichity (10-12) by 1 3/4l, 6 ran.
Golden Chieftain (IRE) 7-2 (10-12) Chased leader, led 3 out, came clear from next, eased towards finish, very easily, won at Chepstow 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov beating Point West (10-9) by 9l, 16 ran.
Highland Valley (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 8th, led going well and jumped left from 3 out, shaken up after last, soon clear, won at Exeter 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov beating Daring Origyn (10-5) by 10l, 13 ran.
Mossley (IRE) 8-13fav (10-12) Mid-division, hit 6th, headway next, led and not fluent 2 out, went right last, shaken up flat, comfortably, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct beating See You Jack (10-12) by 5l, 11 ran.
Rif (FR) 8-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, mistake 5th, headway after 7th, hard ridden and wanting to hang left from after 2 out, led and not fluent last, driven out, won at Towcester 3m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct beating Tullyraine (11-4) by 1 1/2l, 15 ran.
Teaforthree (IRE) 4-5fav (10-12) Raced wide, close up, tracked leader after 8th, led 3 out, ridden next, eased flat, won at Ffos Las 3m nov hdl (4) gs in Nov beating Top Benefit (10-12) by 3l, 6 ran.
Galant Nuit (FR) 11-2fav (11-5) Mid-division, hampered 5th, progress under pressure into 5th after 3 out, carried left after last, pressed for 2nd, stayed on well, 3rd of 24, 1 1/4l behind BallaBriggs (11-12) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Am hcp chs 0-140 (2) gs in Mar.
Join Together (IRE) 10-3 (10-12) Tracked leader, led before 3 out, headed approaching next, no extra towards finish, 3rd of 10, 3l behind Court In Motion (10-12) at Exeter 2m 5f nov hdl (3) sft in Nov.
Old Wigmore (IRE) 13-2 (10-7) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 3 out, ridden to lead approaching last, soon clear, stayed on well (no time taken), won at Hereford 2m 6f mdn hdl (5) gs in Nov beating Super Villan (11-0) by 5l, 10 ran.
Smooth Classic (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) Held up in 7th, headway before 4 out, chasing leaders pair when hit 3 out, left 3rd and slightly hampered 2 out, soon no chance with leading duo, tailed off, 3rd of 9, 34l behind Aiteen Thirtythree (10-12) at Cheltenham 3m 1f nh nov hdl (3) gd in Oct.
Sybarite (FR) 8-1 (11-0) Chased leading pair, went 2nd after 3 out, challenged and stumbled 2 out, took narrow lead briefly between last 2, dropped to 3rd soon after, rallied to 2nd again close home, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 7l behind Champion Court (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Nov.