THE NEW ONE won a Listed bumper here on New Year's Day last year and a Grade 2 at Aintree in April. He had a fight on his hands against Village Vic on his second start over timber here but that rival is very useful and he's won his two other races in a canter. He can remain unbeaten over timber though Coneygree is a huge threat. He's also unbeaten in three starts over timber and, as two of those were in Grade 2's on this track, it will take a major performance to beat him. At Fishers Cross has won his last three over hurdles including a handicap here last month while Whisper gained plenty of admirers when ploughing through the mud for an easy victory at Ffos Las.
At Fishers Cross (IRE) 11-4fav (10-12) Held up in touch, headway on outside 2 out, soon challenged, led before last, ridden and held on flat, won at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec beating Inish Island (10-9) by 1 1/2l, 12 ran.
Coneygree 11-10fav (11-7) Made all, came towards stands side rail before last, soon pressed, ridden and stayed on strongly to forge clear flat, won at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl G2 (1) hvy in Dec beating Aerial (11-0) by 6l, 7 ran.
The New One (IRE) 1-2fav (11-7) Prominent, led after 6th, drawing clear when not fluent 3 out, stayed on well, easily, won at Warwick 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft beating Mickie (10-11) by 16l, 7 ran.
Whisper (FR) 4-6fav (10-12) Settled in rear but in touch, headway 3 out, every chance next, led after last, ran on strongly, won at Ffos Las 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec beating The Jugopolist (10-5) by 6l, 8 ran.
Fiddlers Bid 15-8fav (11-0) Led, pressed from 3 out, headed before last, stayed on same pace, lost 2nd close home, 3rd of 6, 1 1/2l behind Ballytober (11-0) at Ascot 2m 6f NH mdn hdl (3) hvy in Dec.