The veteran Kinkeel was in good form at this time a year ago but what he was doing in the Desert Orchid Chase last week is anyone's guess, especially after he pulled up on his previous two starts. Don't be too surprised by a return to form, however, but Beau Colonel has yet to show any real sign of ability and finished a long way behind SABLAZO at Hereford last time. That was over the minimum trip and Andy Turnell's charge had done better when scoring comfortably over further at Fontwell in November. He can regain the winning thread at the chief expense of Chord, who made a winning start to his chasing career in 2010 but appears better on faster ground.
Chord 4-1 (10-13) Held up in rear, jumped slowly 8th, mistake next, headway to chase leaders 2 out, never on terms, 4th of 10, 7l behind Ballyman (10-0) at Plumpton 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.
Sablazo (FR) 13-2 (10-13) Chased leading pair, went 2nd 5th, went left and stumbled 7th, lost 2nd 4 out, went 2nd again before 3 out, went badly left 3 out and dropped to 3rd, one pace and no impression soon after, 3rd of 8, 15l behind Chestnut Ben (11-1) at Hereford 2m hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Dec.
Beau Colonel (FR) 11-1 (11-2) Jumped left, led, clear, reached for 6th, reduced lead 4 out, headed approaching next, weakened 2 out, tailed off, 6th of 8, 40l behind Chestnut Ben (11-1) at Hereford 2m hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Dec.
Kinkeel (IRE) 200-1 (11-0) Disputing 4th until dropped to rear after 4th, struggling and no chance after, tailed off, 5th of 6, 44l behind Finian's Rainbow (11-5) at Kempton 2m Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Dec.
Brushford (IRE) 4-1 (9-11) Tracked leaders, ran in snatches, weakened after 13th, pulled up before 5 out, in a race won by Miss Fleur (10-12) at Fontwell 3m 2f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Dec, 7 ran.
Monsieur Georges (FR) 25-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, hit 9th, ridden and outpaced 4 out, weakened from next, 4th of 7, 35l behind Spot The Ball (10-7) at Towcester 2m 6f cnd hcp chs (0-95) (5) gd in Nov.
Earl Of Thomond (IRE) 13-2 (10-9) Raced wide, in touch, ridden 6th, behind and struggling from next, 4th of 5, well behind Mangonel (10-7) at Fakenham 2m 4f sll hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in Nov.
My Faithful Annie (IRE) 16-1 (10-1) Prominent, chased winner 6th until jumped slowly next, soon lost place, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Free Speech (11-7) at Folkestone 2m nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Dec.
A P Ling 50-1 (9-11) Mid-division, weakened before 3 out, 7th of 9, 30l behind Catawollow (10-12) at Leicester 2m Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-100) (4yo+) (5) gd in Nov.