MALT MASTER has more scope than his two rivals and, having got off the mark at Huntingdon following a pipe-opener at Bangor, is fancied to double his tally over the larger obstacles. Poungach looks the danger if getting back to the form which saw him beat the useful Super Duty at Haydock in November, though he was beaten at odds-on at Fontwell last time. Paul Nicholls' seven-year-old also wears blinkers for the first time, as does So Fine who showed a bit more at Doncaster last time but lacks consistency and appears to have a bit to find with the other pair off level terms.
Malt Master (IRE) 11-10fav (11-0) Mid-division, closed 4th, jumped left 7th, went 2nd soon after 3 out, led next, stayed on well, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov chs (3) sft in Jan beating Asaid (10-9) by 5l, 8 ran.
Poungach (FR) 5-6fav (11-6) Tracked leader until led 3rd until 6th, chased leader until 8th, outpaced to 4th after 4 out, rallied to 3rd and mistake 2 out, driven to chase winner when went right and not fluent last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 3 1/2l behind Shoegazer (11-6) at Fontwell 2m 6f nov chs (2) sft in Feb.
So Fine (IRE) 3-1 (11-7) Led, jumped slow 4th, joined 4 out, headed before 2 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 4, 6l behind Otto The Great (10-11) at Doncaster 3m nov chs (4) gd in Feb.