It was a surprise to see ROYAL CHARM come to grief at the Pond fence at Sandown last time as he'd jumped well up to that point. Paul Nicholls' charge, already successful twice over C&D, is favoured by the weights in this and should get back to winning ways. Rougham can be a dangerous opponent if allowed to dominate but his jumping becomes suspect under pressure and he was pulled up at Ascot last month. Torphichen has proved a versatile performer but sometimes gives the impression he's saving a little for himself. He was tried in a visor last time but the headgear is dispensed with again here and he's one to be wary of. Cool Friend is back over fences after a couple of runs over timber but has plenty to find at the weights today.
Royal Charm (FR) 2-1fav (11-7) Held up, blundered 6th, went 3rd approaching 12th, 5 lengths off front pair when fell 3 out, in a race won by Golan Way (11-5) at Sandown 3m Listed chs (1) gs, 5 ran.
Torphichen 6-1 (11-4) Badly hampered 1st, in touch on inside, mistake 3rd, headway to 3rd at 8th, went 2nd next until 4 out, mistake 3 out, ridden and weakened 2 out, modest 5th when blundered last, 6th of 11, 20l behind I'msingingtheblues (11-9) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs (2) gd in Nov.
Rougham 11-2 (11-12) Led, blundered and headed 8th, soon lost place, mistake 9th, pulled up, in a race won by Quito Du Tresor (11-5) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Nov, 9 ran.
Cool Friend (IRE) 11-2fav (10-13) Chased leadrs, pushed along and slightly lost place 7th, ridden before next, rallied 3 out, chased winner under pressure before next, well held 2 out, weakened to 3rd last, 3rd of 11, 15l behind Emmaslegend (10-11) at Ascot 2m 6f mares hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Nov.