Buffalo Bob refused to settle at Kempton last time and was soon beaten. However, this represents a significant drop in grade and Kim Bailey's charge is now 2lb lower than when winning at Chepstow less than a year ago. It will be interesting to see if there is any money for Smooth Classic in his first handicap as he will have needed his first run over fences at Chepstow. Tom Scudamore prefers him to stablemate El Lobo while Timetoring is a previous course and distance winner. BENDANT was successful over track and trip in December and has started to come down the weights again. If his sometimes-suspect jumping holds up, he may be the one to beat.
Roman Conquest 16-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, weakened before 4 out, behind when blundered and unseated rider 2 out, in a race won by Majala (11-3) at Haydock 2m nov chs (2) hvy in Dec, 5 ran.
Buffalo Bob (IRE) 12-1 (10-10) Held up, took keen hold, headway approaching 5th, lost place before 10th, well beaten 14th, tailed off, 7th of 8, well behind Mister Hyde (10-13) at Kempton 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) hvy in Dec.
El Lobo (FR) 7-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, lost place after 4th, blundered 7th, soon well behind, 7th of 8, 44l behind Rody (11-12) at Warwick 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Jan.
Fabulous Fred (IRE) 8-1 (10-6) In rear, slow and ridden 10th, lost touch 13th, tailed off when went left 4 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Handy Andy (11-0) at Newbury 3m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec, 8 ran.
Tough Talkin Man (IRE) 6-1 (10-11) In rear, ridden and outpaced 3 out, 6th of 7, 29l behind Alpine Breeze (11-7) at Market Rasen 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Nov.
Bendant 12-1 (10-0) Prominent, led 7th until ridden 3 out, chased winner, well held when went badly right next, weakened before last, 4th of 11, 16l behind Rouge Et Blanc (10-0) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy.
Smooth Classic (IRE) 40-1 (10-7) Held up, took keen hold, mistakes 4th and 10th, headway after next, weakened 4 out, 6th of 7, well behind Keppols Hill (11-0) at Chepstow 3m beg chase (4) hvy in Jan.
Seigneur Des Bois (FR) 7-1 (10-11) In rear and in touch, pushed along before and mistake 6th, soon reminders, mistake 10th, reminders and weakened 4 out, last of 4, 14l behind That's The Deal (9-11) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Feb '12.
Timetoring 22-1 (9-13) Led until approaching 6th, weakened before 2 out, 9th of 12, 32l behind Xaarcet (10-3) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy in Jan.