The progressive Badgers Cove is having his first start since April 2011 but has gone well fresh before and is not easily overlooked. Brough Academy could also get involved as a recent reappearance should have brought him on and Top Dancer posted a decent effort over C&D last time. Mauricetheathlete won this last year off a lower mark and Gran Torino has the past form to figure but the vote goes the way of RANGITOTO, who is 8lb lower back over hurdles with Harry Derham's 5lb claim further helping his cause.
Badgers Cove (IRE) 4-1fav (11-10) Prominent, not fluent 5th, went 2nd after 8th, led approaching 3 out, soon headed, stayed challenging, led again flat, driven out, won at Ludlow 2m 5f nov hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Apr '11 beating Apache Chant (9-11) by 1/2l, 11 ran.
Radmores Revenge 11-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, chased leaders under pressure before 4 out, soon ridden and outpaced, weakened 2 out, 6th of 10, 30l behind Shoegazer (11-12) at Chepstow 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Apr.
Rangitoto (IRE) 3-1fav (11-3) Awkward and lost ground at start, always towards rear, hit 7th, no impression before 5 out, tailed off, 8th of 12, well behind Lost Glory (11-5) at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) sft in Oct.
No Principles 20-1 (11-5) In rear, pushed along before 6th, ridden before 3 out, never dangerous, 12th of 15, well behind Ruben Cotter (11-5) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in May.
Brough Academy (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) Chased leader until approaching 5th, chased leaders, pushed along in 3rd after 3 out, not fluent and weakened 2 out, well beaten when blundered last, 5th of 10, 27l behind Cue To Cue (11-0) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Nov.
Top Dancer (FR) 6-1 (11-2) Chased leaderrs, went 2nd 3 out, ridden to challenge next, one pace in 3rd approaching last, lost 3rd close home, 4th of 8, 6l behind Pocket Too (10-8) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Nov.
Riptide 100-1 (11-7) Chased leaders until lost place before 4th, in rear when blundered 4 out, plugged on run-in to moderate 5th in closing stages, 5th of 21, 25l behind Buck Magic (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Nov.
Fishoutofwater (IRE) 33-1 (9-7) Tracked leaders, ridden after 3 out, weakened after next, 10th of 18, 37l behind Double Ross (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) sft in Nov.
Mauricetheathlete (IRE) 15-2 (11-4) Prominent, not fluent 2nd or 4th, led approaching 6th, headed after 9th, no extra 2 out, 3rd of 11, 22l behind Farmer Matt (10-2) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Nov.
Fred The Shred (IRE) 20-1 (10-7) Held up towards rear, pushed along after 4 out, kept on same pace from 3 out, 5th of 10, 17l behind Bold Henry (11-0) at Exeter 2m 1f mdn hdl (4) sft in May.
Gran Torino (IRE) 25-1 (11-7) Mid-division, not much room on inner before bend after 1st, outpaced 4 out, plugged on and in 4th and well held when mistake and unseated rider last, in a race won by San Telm (11-9) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Oct, 13 ran.
Sangfroid 20-1 (11-8) Held up in rear, mistake 6th, some headway after 9th, soon outpaced, no impression after, 7th of 11, 25l behind Farmer Matt (10-2) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Nov.
Saintly Lady (IRE) 33-1 (10-6) Tracked leaders, lost place 4th, mistake 8th, tailed off next, pulled up before 9th, in a race won by Howard's Legacy (11-2) at Ffos Las 2m 3f Beginners Chase (0-125) (4yo+) (3) sft in Nov, 11 ran.