ALPINE BREEZE won over these fences in August and ran a fine race to finish second behind Romanesco in much better company at Fakenham last month. He can take this with a similar performance and makes more appeal than My Brother Sylvest. The latter finished a respectable third on his chasing bow at Kempton, however, and looks a bigger threat than Vino Griego, still without a win over fences in 13 attempts. Dual hurdles winner Amron Lad will need to brush up his fencing after a modest chase debut at Carlisle but Tough Talkin Man could make the frame.
Alpine Breeze (IRE) 7-1 (10-1) Held up towards rear, mistake 5th, not fluent 8th, headway after 13th, went 2nd when mistake last, stayed on, no impression on winner, 2nd of 14, 4l behind Romanesco (10-5) at Fakenham 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Oct.
Vino Griego (FR) 12-1 (11-3) Held up, headway 6th, mistake 10th, ridden approaching 2 out, soon beaten, weakened before last, 4th of 6, 22l behind Hildisvini (11-3) at Huntingdon 2m 4f Beginners Chase (0-140) (4yo+) (3) gd in Oct.
My Brother Sylvest 12-1 (11-2) Led, took keen hold, not always fluent, headed when mistake 3 out, went left 2 out, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 11, 7l behind Sire De Grugy (11-2) at Kempton 2m beg chs (4) gd in Oct.
Brass Tax (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Led until 9th, weakened after 2 out, 5th of 8, 16l behind According To Trev (11-3) at Cheltenham 3m 1f nh nov hdl (3) gs in Oct.
Amron Lad (IRE) 10-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, not fluent 2nd, weakened 5 out, moderate 4th, 4th of 7, 42l behind Rival D'estruval (11-4) at Carlisle 2m 4f nov chs (4) hvy in Oct.
Tough Talkin Man (IRE) 25-1 (10-9) Held up in touch, jumped right at times, hit 6th, ridden 4 out, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 14, 17l behind Golden Chieftain (11-9) at Worcester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Oct.
Tricky Tree (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, jumped left 5th and 6th, ridden 8th, hit 10th, went 4th 2 out, never on terms, 4th of 11, 34l behind Mister Hyde (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nov chs (4) sft in Dec.