Fascinating stuff but there's no Menorah to trouble BELLVANO today and he is preferred to Tito Bustillo and Ashammar. On the face of it the selection disappointed at Kempton when last seen however the winner is obviously very good (very good time figure) and this looks an easier task. He is unbeaten here in two starts and his class can see him through despite his big weight. Tito Bustillo also has two penalties to carry but he has earned them. His two wins have come at Taunton but his beating of The Betchworth Kid looks solid and this progressive novice cannot be dismissed lightly. Rollwiththepunches looks to have improved for the tongue-tie and won tidily last time at Huntingdon, Etruscan was a fairly good flat horse and cannot be dismissed, whilst Ashammar was well-fancied when beaten at Huntingdon on his UK debut. However the winner looks very good and with a tongue-tie employed better is expected. Gus Macrae has been given a two month break since winning a bumper at Hereford, Paint The Clouds ran well behind Cheshire Prince on his hurdling bow, whilst Mossini looks the pick of Gary Moore's trio despite better being expected from Via Galilei. Bellvano is the pick.
Bellvano (GER) 8-11fav (11-8) Held up in rear, headway 4 out, chased winner after next, soon ridden to challenge, one pace, 2nd of 8, 12l behind Menorah (11-5) at Kempton 2m nh nov hdl (2) gs in Dec.
Tito Bustillo (FR) 8-13fav (11-8) Close up, headway to 3rd going well approaching 2 out, led soon after 2 out, kept on well flat, readily, won at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (3) sft in Dec beating Maggio (10-12) by 1 3/4l, 14 ran.
Rollwiththepunches 16-1 (11-4) Made all, driven out, won at Huntingdon 2m NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) sft in Jan beating Rackham Lerouge (11-4) by 3l, 15 ran.
Ashammar (FR) 15-8fav (10-12) Took keen hold, chased leading pair, led and hit 5th, hung violently left bend after 3 out and headed, not recover, 3rd of 8, 21l behind Cheshire Prince (10-12) at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Etruscan (IRE) 15-8 (9-7) Chased leading pair until 3f out, ridden and weakened over 2f out, 5th of 8, 21l behind Abayaan (9-3) at Southwell 1m 3f mdn stks (5) fbs in Dec (flat).
Gus Macrae (IRE) 11-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders, led over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, stayed on well, won at Hereford 2m 1f NH flat (6) sft in Dec beating Smooth Classic (11-0) by 1 1/4l, 15 ran.
Mossini (IRE) 16-1 (11-7) Held up in touch, took keen hold, pushed along over 3f out, chasing leaders when swerved right well over 1f out, beaten after, 4th of 7, 7l behind Anquetta (11-7) at Southwell 2m mdn nat hunt flt (4-6yo) (4) std in Jan.
Nobby Kivambo (IRE) 66-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, not fluent 5th, behind next, never dangerous, 6th of 11, 48l behind Born Again (10-13) at Fontwell 2m 2f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) sft.
Paint The Clouds 25-1 (11-4) Mid-division, headway and in touch 4 out, driven and outpaced 2 out, soon ridden, kept on same pace approaching last, 4th of 14, 5l behind Cheshire Prince (11-6) at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
The Lemonpie (GER) (7-6) 3rd of 7, 9l behind Denango (8-11) at Dortmund(GER) 1m 2f stks in Jan (flat).
Tifernati 5-2fav (11-0) Held up, chased leaders approaching 3 out, weakened approaching next, 7th of 11, well behind Night Orbit (11-0) at Market Rasen 2m 1f mdn hdl (4) gd in May.
Via Galilei (IRE) 9-4 (11-3) Swerved right 1st, held up towards rear, headway approaching 6th, disputing 2nd 2 out, weakened flat, 6th of 12, 13l behind Whistlejacquet (11-3) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs.
Dollydo 40-1 (10-0) Chased winner to over 4f out, weakened over 3f out, 6th of 9, 38l behind Crannaghmore Boy (11-0) at Chepstow 2m NH flat (6) hvy in Dec.