The eight runners have won a fair few races between them but not that many fall into the reliable category these days. It may be worth taking a chance with the headstrong MARODIMA ahead of Saphir Des Bois and Oiseau De Nuit. The gelding has only shown glimpses of his form since joining his current yard but has received little respite from the handicapper. However, there are positives to be taken from his last two runs over hurdles where he showed up well for longer than may have been expected over trips well in excess of his optimum. This is his day job and he could be worth chancing in an eminently winnable race. Moon Over Miami has broken blood vessels in the past and has become increasingly difficult to predict whilst Oumeyade has done little since leaving Paul Nicholls. Enlightenment appears to be on a stiff enough mark as does Lorient Express although he has made a winning seasonal return on a couple of occasions. Freds Benefit has had just the one start for this yard and is one to keep a keen eye on whilst Oiseau De Nuit has a decent strike rate for one of his ability and went close last time. Saphir Des Bois fared better than three of today's opponents at Cheltenham in December and has the ability to play a leading role but this could be the day that Marodima bounces back to form.
Marodima (FR) 20-1 (11-7) Led, keen hold, headed 3 out, soon weakened, 9th of 19, 48l behind Lake Legend (11-12) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Dec.
Moon Over Miami (GER) 9-1 (11-7) Never jumped with any fluency in rear, struggling from 9th, tailed off, 10th of 12, 34l behind French Opera (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-130 (2) sft in Dec.
Oumeyade (FR) 12-1 (11-1) Tracked leaders, lost place 9th, 8th of 9, 42l behind Fix The Rib (11-7) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (2) gd in Nov.
Lorient Express (FR) 28-1 (10-11) Prominent, raced keenly, mistakes 3rd and 4th, 4th when blundered and unseated rider 5th, in a race won by Oh Crick (11-1) at Aintree 2m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr, 17 ran.
Freds Benefit (IRE) 18-1 (11-2) Led to 4th, chased leader, led 9th, headed 12th (old 3 out) weakened quickly on long run to last, 9th of 12, 25l behind French Opera (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-130 (2) sft in Dec.
Oiseau de Nuit (FR) 7-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway under pressure after 4 out, chased winner before 3 out, strong challenge run-in, upsides towards finish, just held, 2nd of 10, nk behind Green Belt Elite (11-7) at Wincanton 2m hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Dec.
Enlightenment (IRE) 25-1 (11-12) Mid-division, lost plce before 5th, soon struggling, tailed off when hit 2out, 10th of 12, well behind Galaxy Rock (11-1) at Ffos Las 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Dec.
Saphir Des Bois (FR) 15-2 (10-4) Chased leader, led 4th at strong pace, until blundered and headed 9th, stayed front to rank, every chance when blundered 12th (old 3 out) weakened soon after, 7th of 12, 15l behind French Opera (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-130 (2) sft in Dec.