The assessor appears to have caught up with Royale Knight, who is 12lb higher than his last winning chase mark and 6lb out of the handicap. Milo Milan was raised 10lb for winning at Bangor a year ago and has been unable to cope while Basoda ran a shocker when favourite at Bangor after winning very easily at Kempton. He's the type who goes best with a break so shouldn't be written off just yet. Allthekingshorses has won a point-to-point and scored twice over timber but didn't jump well on his chasing debut at Exeter. That experience was probably needed though he faces a stiff task at the weights as does Howard's Legacy, who jumped poorly at Newbury last month. Moonlight Drive has scope but it's TOUR DES CHAMPS, who has been highly tried in his two races since winning at Uttoxeter in May, who is taken to regain the winning thread.
Howard's Legacy (IRE) 5-1 (11-5) Held up in rear but in touch, slow 4th, ridden 5 out, soon no impression, last of 6, 18l behind Parsnip Pete (11-0) at Newbury 2m 1f Novice Handicap Chase (0-140) (4yo+) (3) sft in Nov.
Allthekingshorses (IRE) 4-1 (11-3) Chased leading pair until before 4th, losing place when went right 11th, went modest 4th at 14th and ridden, left poor 3rd last, 3rd of 7, 34l behind Grove Pride (11-3) at Exeter 3m nov chs (3) gs in Nov.
Tour Des Champs (FR) 7-2 (11-6) Prominent, mistake 2nd, lost place 4th,, 8th of 11, 32l behind Sizing Santiago (10-13) at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Nov.
Moonlight Drive (IRE) 7-2fav (11-5) Mid-division, hard driven and headway approaching 3 out, chased leaders next, weakened before last, 5th of 13, 23l behind Golden Call (11-5) at Bangor 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Mar.
Take Of Shoc's (IRE) 7-2 (10-2) Led, ridden 2 out, headed next, plugged on one pace, 2nd of 9, 7l behind Oscar Hill (11-8) at Taunton 2m 1f sell hdl (5) sft in Nov.
Basoda 9-4fav (12-4) Led until not fluent 12th, ridden before 3 out, weakened approaching next, tailed off, 5th of 6, well behind Incentivise (11-0) at Bangor 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Oct.
Rackham Lerouge (FR) 7-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, led 8th until 10th, lost place approaching 3 out, no chance when bad mistake last, 8th of 9, 39l behind Buck Mulligan (11-6) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Nov.
The Falklander 12-1 (11-2) Chased leaders, pecked 14th, slow next, ridden before 17th, weakened before 19th, tailed off, 8th of 12, 41l behind Time For Spring (11-9) at Sandown 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Nov.
Milo Milan (IRE) 15-8fav (11-8) Chased leaders on inside, dropped towards rear and reminder 6th, hit 4 out, 6th and outpaced before next, soon ridden, rallied after 2 out, stayed on to take 3rd after last, no impression, 3rd of 7, 8l behind Merry King (11-12) at Bangor 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Nov.
Dont Tell Sailor (IRE) 33-1 (11-2) Tracked leader, outpaced before 3 out, mistake last, soon weakened, 5th of 13, 26l behind San Telm (11-9) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Oct.
Royale Knight 11-4 (11-9) Raced wide, chased leading pair, went 2nd 10th, remider after next, lost 2nd before hit 4 out, weakened before next, poor 4th when went left 3 out and pulled up, in a race won by Ukrainian Star (11-11) at Hereford 3m 1f hcp 0-100 (5) hvy, 7 ran.