No Planning won at Wetherby before finishing second at Kelso. But he may not have finished ahead of Night Alliance at the Scottish track had the latter not fallen heavily at the last. Loch Ba never figured in the Hennessy last time but should this a bit easier and there are more races to be won with Emperor's Choice, though probably over further than this. SAFRAN DE COTTE couldn't match strides with Tutchec and Herdsman at Carlisle on his reappearance but will strip fitter here and revels in soft ground. He gets a tentative vote as Tartak is not the force of old and Triptico dropped away tamely at Chepstow earlier this month. Ballytober looks as though he'll need more time.
Solix (FR) 33-1 (11-12) In touch, not much room on bend after 12th, soon outpaced towards rear, plugged on again flat, 6th of 18, 14l behind Tatenen (11-5) at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Nov.
No Planning 9-4 (11-5) Tracked leader, pressed leader 3 out, led next, ridden and headed approaching last, left clear 2nd last, stayed on on, 2nd of 8, 5l behind Kruzhlinin (11-12) at Kelso 2m 7f hcp chs (2) gs.
Loch Ba (IRE) 16-1 (10-1) Always towards rear, never a factor, 14th of 21, 39l behind Triolo D'Alene (11-1) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Emperor's Choice (IRE) 4-1fav (11-12) Close up, led before 3rd, headed 5th, ridden after 2 out, not fluent last, soon weakened, 6th of 10, 17l behind Boyfromnowhere (10-12) at Fontwell 3m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Nov.
Tartak (FR) 11-1 (10-4) Tracked leaders, not always fluent, not fluent and one pace 3 out, stayed on flat, 4th of 16, 5l behind Johns Spirit (10-3) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hcp chs (2) gd in Oct.
Safran De Cotte (FR) 2-1fav (11-9) Chased winner until 4 out, chased leading pair, ridden and well held before 2 out, weakened and just held on for 3d, 3rd of 7, 16l behind Tutchec (10-10) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs.
Triptico (FR) 9-2 (10-9) Tracked leaders, in touch when mistake and pecked 5 out, soon outpaced, weakened from next, 5th of 8, 31l behind De La Bech (10-2) at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs.
Ballytober 4-1 (10-9) Mistake 2nd, held up in last pair in touch, headway 5 out, soon challenged, led narrowly last, ridden and headed flat, no extra, 3rd of 7, 5l behind Samingarry (10-6) at Chepstow 3m (3) gs.
Night Alliance (IRE) 2-1fav (10-9) Not fluent, towards rear, headway 12th, ridden 3 out, challenging for 2nd when blundered and fell last, in a race won by Kruzhlinin (11-12) at Kelso 2m 7f hcp chs (2) gs, 8 ran.
Balinroab (IRE) 33-1 (11-4) In rear, headway 8th, ridden to chase winner 3 out, keeping on one pace when jumped tired at last, 2nd of 7, 5l behind Present View (11-8) at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Nov.
Wicklow Lad 8-1 (11-6) Held up mid-division, headway before last, kept on same pace, 3rd of 8, 4 1/2l behind Tutchec (10-12) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Nov.
Samstown 9-2 (10-3) Chased leaders, went 2nd 4 out, led next, forged clear before last, stayed on strongly, won at Market Rasen 3m 1f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft beating Distime (11-0) by 7l, 7 ran.