This has cut up badly but three of the four runners have entries in the RSA Chase so it might still provide a few Cheltenham pointers. SMAD PLACE probably has a touch of class that the others lack having been placed in two World Hurdles. He would have won on his fencing bow at Huntingdon had he not blundered and unseated Choc Thornton at the last and made no mistake at Exeter next time. He gets a tentative vote given that he's getting 3lb from likely market rivals Mendip Express and Sam Winner. The latter pair both won at Cheltenham last time with the former showing he was a progressive stayer when defying a big weight against experienced handicappers. The Nicholls' novice stayed on dourly to beat some well-regarded types last time and can't be ignored either but Danners looks up against it.
Mendip Express (IRE) 7-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, not fluent 6th, headway on inside after 7th, mistake 11th, led on long run to last, stayed on well, ridden out, won at Cheltenham 3m 2f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Jan beating Alfie Spinner (11-1) by 5l, 13 ran.
Sam Winner (FR) 11-4 (11-1) Made all, not fluent 13th (water), not fluent and pressed 3 out, bumped after 2 out, ridden and stayed on well to assert final 100 yards, won at Cheltenham 3m 1f nov chs (2) gd in Dec beating Le Bec (11-9) by 4l, 4 ran.
Smad Place (FR) 4-11fav (11-3) Jumped pretty well, tracked leaders on outside, went 2nd 4th, led 8th, headed before 4 out, soon led again, pushed clear flat, won at Exeter 3m nov chs (3) gs in Nov beating Ardkilly Witness (11-3) by 7l, 6 ran.
Danners (IRE) 20-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders in 4th, ridden before 4 out, weakened before 2 out, 6th of 7, 46l behind Victor Hewgo (11-0) at Doncaster 3m nov chs (4) gs in Jan.