Smart hurdler UNE ARTISTE can make amends for a narrow defeat by Buthelezi at Plumpton. She was giving 7lb to the winner that day but meets most of these on level terms and is getting 6lb from Tempest River, who was impressive over course and distance last month but has more on her plate in this. Baby Shine had useful form over the smaller obstacles but is still finding her feet over fences, though she's preferred to Me And Ben who is running in her first chase. Always Smiling is lightly raced and already a winner between the flags but this is a tough start over fences.
Tempest River (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) In rear well off the pace, all of 25 lengths behind leader 3 out, headway 2 out, ridden and ran on to lead flat, won at Huntingdon 2m (3) sft in Nov beating Royal Guardsman (11-4) by 10l, 4 ran.
Always Smiling (IRE) 7-1 (10-3) Tracked leaders, lost place and dropped towards rear 6th, chased leaders 3 out, soon outpaced, weakened approaching next, 5th of 7, 20l behind Dardanella (10-10) at Towcester 2m 5f mrs nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Baby Shine (IRE) 7-4fav (10-9) Tracked winner, ridden 2 out, no impression, 2nd of 4, 4l behind Corrin Wood (11-2) at Market Rasen 2m 6f beg chs (4) sft in Nov.
Me And Ben (IRE) 2-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, led after 3 out, headed before last, no extra, 2nd of 8, 8l behind Mini Muck (10-10) at Bangor 2m 4f mrs nov hdl (4) sft in Oct.
Une Artiste (FR) 4-5fav (11-5) Tracked leaders in 3rd and in rear, headway 7th, went 2nd from 8th, pushed along before 4 out, ridden before 2 out, every chance before last, kept on and no extra near finish, 2nd of 3, 3/4l behind Buthelezi (10-12) at Plumpton 2m 4f (3) gd.