Loose Chips won over hurdles on this card last year and has been placed in both starts over fences. Ericht was clear of the third when just failing to catch Funny Star on his chasing bow and he'll know more today while Thunderstorm showed a bit more when third at Chepstow. Western Warhorse won't be far away if taking to the larger obstacles but Ohio Gold is proving hard to win with and God's Own makes his fencing debut off a stiff mark, though has been placed between the flags. URBAIN DE SIVOLA is another tackling the larger obstacles for the first time in public but Paul Nicholls isn't one to tilt at windmills with his novices and, reasonably handicapped, he gets the nod.
God's Own (IRE) 12-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, lost place after 3 out, weakened next, 14th of 20, well behind Thomas Crapper (11-3) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Nov.
Ericht (IRE) 13-8fav (11-1) Held up, closed from 4th, went 2nd before 11th, not fluent 4 out, soon pushed along, ridden after 3 out, closed flat, always held, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Funny Star (11-1) at Doncaster 2m 3f nov chs (4) gd in Nov.
Loose Chips 7-2 (11-5) Led, pushed along and headed 2 out, kept on same pace, 2nd of 6, 7l behind Colebrooke (10-2) at Fontwell 2m 6f (3) hvy in Nov.
Urbain De Sivola (FR) 9-2 (11-4) In touch, smooth headway to track leaders approaching 2 out, led after 2 out, headed between last 2, tried to rallly and closed as winner hung badly right from last, always held, 2nd of 13, 1l behind Deep Trouble (10-11) at Sandown 2m Listed hcp hdl (1) gs.
Ohio Gold (IRE) 2-1 (11-1) Tracked leaders, jumped left at times, mistake 8th, soon lost touch with front pair, weakened and lost 3rd after 3 out, tailed off, 4th of 8, 43l behind Valdez (11-1) at Exeter 2m 1f beg chs (4) gs in Nov.
Western Warhorse (IRE) 9-2fav (11-3) Led, clear before 3 out, headed 2 out, weakened last, 6th of 21, 18l behind Mickie (11-3) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs in Nov.
Oscar Magic (IRE) 16-1 (10-13) Led, went left 3rd, headed 2 out, chased leaders, weakened before last, 7th of 16, 16l behind Saphir Du Rheu (11-0) at Sandown 2m 6f hcp hdl (2) gs.
Thunderstorm (IRE) 8-1 (11-9) Held up in touch, headway 10th, left 3rd next, outpaced 4 out, mistake next, no chance with front pair before 2 out, just held on for 3rd, 3rd of 9, 14l behind Renard (11-10) at Chepstow 2m 3f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs.
Roger Beantown (IRE) 20-1 (11-3) Chased leaders, went 2nd 13th, led narrowly 3 out, stumbled 2 out, and headed soon after, chased winner, ridden between last 2, rallied last, no extra flat, kept on for clear 2nd, 2nd of 9, 2 1/4l behind The Italian Yob (11-5) at Sandown 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd.