Gus Macrae arrives off back-to-back wins at Aintree and Ascot and Patrick Corbett again takes off 10lb. It would be no surprise to see him complete the hat-trick but this is another tough heat and OH CRICK, a former Cheltenham Festival winner, will have needed his run at Cheltenham when still finishing well ahead of Consigliere and Takeroc. Alan King's charge gets the nod here. Renard ran a lot better than the final result suggests when fourth to Cue Card in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter and Micheal Flips has a touch of class when on-song while Falcon Island isn't without a chance. But Ulck Du Lin found nothing off the bridle when third at Stratford, though the drop in distance may help. Tatispout won easily last time but the mare is not one to rely upon.
West With The Wind 33-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, weakened 6th, tailed off, 6th of 7, well behind Oiseau de Nuit (10-13) at Chepstow 2m hcp chs (2) gs in Oct.
Micheal Flips (IRE) 20-1 (10-8) Towards rear, slightly hampered 8th, no chance when blundered badly 3 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Al Ferof (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) sft in Nov, 18 ran.
Oh Crick (FR) 16-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, ridden and one pace after 3 out, stayed on same pace from next, 6th of 14, 10l behind Shooters Wood (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Nov.
Consigliere (FR) 16-1 (11-2) Chased leaders in 5th, driven and lost place 9th, in rear and struggling next, tailed off, 12th of 14, 35l behind Shooters Wood (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Nov.
Renard (FR) 13-2 (10-5) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 5th until next, hit 7th, ridden and outpaced approaching 4 out, no impression after, closed on 3rd from last, 4th of 5, 36l behind Cue Card (11-7) at Exeter 2m 1f ltd hcp chs Grd 2 (1) gs in Nov.
Falcon Island 10-1 (11-4) Well off the pace and behind, kept on flat, never going pace to trouble leaders, 6th of 12, 11l behind Gus Macrae (9-12) at Ascot 2m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gs in Nov.
Gus Macrae (IRE) 9-2 (9-12) Held up off the pace in mid-division, steady headway 7th, chased leaders 3 out, led on inside bypasing omitted 2 out, idled flat but stayed on well, won at Ascot 2m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gs in Nov beating Lidar (11-9) by 1 1/2l, 12 ran.
Manger Hanagment (IRE) 25-1 (11-4) Tracked leader, led 5th, hit and headed 7th, pressed leader until ridden and lost place before 3 out, weakened next, tailed off, 12th of 15, well behind What A Steel (9-11) at Cartmel 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs in Jul.
Takeroc (FR) 33-1 (11-3) Always towards rear, pushed along after 8th, never involved, 10th of 14, 26l behind Shooters Wood (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Nov.
Comehomequietly (IRE) 25-1 (10-13) In touch until blundered and unseated rider 5th, in a race won by Gus Macrae (9-12) at Ascot 2m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gs in Nov, 12 ran.
On Trend (IRE) 11-4fav (11-5) Led, not fluent 10th, mistake when headed 3 out, soon outpaced, rallied last, kept on well, 3rd of 5, 4 1/2l behind Oldrik (10-13) at Taunton 2m 3f Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) gd in Dec '11.
Tatispout (FR) 15-8fav (11-10) Raced keenly, jumped well, made all, in command before 2 out, soon clear, unchallenged, won at Southwell 2m Mares Handicap Chase (0-120) (4yo+) (4) gd in Nov beating Tornade D'estruval (11-12) by 23l, 4 ran.
Kateal 5-1 (11-6) Led, hard driven 3 out, soon strongly challenged, headed approaching last, faded, 5th of 9, 29l behind Sir Du Bearn (11-11) at Stratford 2m 5f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Oct.
Ulck Du Lin (FR) 7-4fav (10-11) In touch, headway 4 out, every chance 2 out, weakened before last, 3rd of 9, 14l behind Sir Du Bearn (11-11) at Stratford 2m 5f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Oct.
Fiftyonefiftyone (IRE) 25-1 (10-0) Always towards rear, never involved, 9th of 14, 26l behind Shooters Wood (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Nov.