You can probably put a line through half of this field for one reason or another but Brass Tax has already proved himself over the larger obstacles, having dead-heated at Market Rasen before making Cedre Bleu pull out all the stops at Ascot. Prince Buster is exposed but has form in decent company while Asaid made a winning start over hurdles here and was quite highly tried after scoring at Towcester in February last year. MALT MASTER was a short-priced favourite on his chasing bow at Bangor but couldn't go with Tenor Nivernais after jumping the second-last alongside. He'll have learned from that and can go one better on this easier course.
Brass Tax (IRE) 8-1 (11-4) Led, joined 3 out, strongly pressed from next, kept on gamely until headed and held final 125 yards, 2nd of 4, 1/2l behind Cedre Bleu (11-0) at Ascot 2m 5f grad ch (2) hvy in Dec.
Elite Beneficial (IRE) 8-1 (10-5) Last pair, went poor 3rd 3 out until 2 out, left in that position again last, tailed off, 3rd of 5, well behind Clash Duff (10-12) at Huntingdon 3m nov chs (3) sft in Jan '12.
Malt Master (IRE) 2-5fav (11-0) Not fluent, tracked leader, not fluent 7th, mistake and lost 2nd 4 out, mistake next, went 2nd again approaching 2 out, driven and no chance with winner between last 2, 2nd of 4, 8l behind Tenor Nivernais (10-11) at Bangor 2m 1f nov chs (4) sft in Dec.
Mr Muddle 14-1 (11-7) Led, ridden and headed before 3 out, soon weakened and pulled up, in a race won by Arkose (11-12) at Kempton 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Nov, 9 ran.
Prince Buster (FR) 10-1 (11-7) Tracked leader, took keen hold, ridden and weakened after 3 out, last of 7, 39l behind Johns Spirit (11-12) at Sandown 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Radsoc De Sivola (FR) (11-3) 5th of 11, well behind Steeple D'or (11-3) at Meslay Du Maine(FR) 2m 5f chs hvy in Nov.
Ronnie Ronalde (IRE) 9-2 (11-7) Maded most, stumbled 4th, hit 3 out and next, headed before blundered last, weakened flat, 6th of 11, 12l behind Overlut (11-3) at Stratford 2m 1f hts chs (6) gd in Jun.
Asaid 13-2 (11-8) Held up, headway 5th, no extra 2 out, tailed off, 8th of 11, well behind Bear's Affair (11-7) at Aintree 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) sft in Dec.