Four runners in this opener but only two trainers are represented. Barry Geraghty is on board Otto The Great, second three times over hurdles, so it's safe to assume he's the pick of Nicky Henderson's pair ahead of French import Private Equity. But Richard Johnson has a good book of rides today and can strike early on TALKONTHESTREET. He has shown promise in both starts over fences and was the best of these over the smaller obstacles. Stablemate So Fine was pulled up here last time and is conceding weight all round courtesy of an earlier victory at Kempton.
So Fine (IRE) 9-1 (11-8) Held up in touch, blundered 7 in rear, reminders before 11th, weakened 6 out, pulled up 3 out, in a race won by Rocky Creek (11-1) at Doncaster 3m nov chs (4) gs in Dec, 5 ran.
Talkonthestreet (IRE) 13-8fav (11-1) In touch and not always fluent, slow at 5th, jumped big 6th, steady headway 8th, went 3rd 3 out, 4th and beaten when blundered last, 4th of 11, 6l behind Godsmejudge (11-1) at Folkestone 3m 1f beg chs (4) gd in Dec.
Otto The Great (FR) 13-2 (11-11) Mid-division, lost place 6th, hampered 4 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by African Gold (11-10) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Nov, 12 ran.
Private Equity (FR) 7-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, led over 3f out, headed over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 9th of 14, 30l behind Fair Trade (11-4) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan.