Bellvano won at the Punchestown Festival in May and may have needed the run when well behind Al Ferof in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham in November. He still has a bit to learn about jumping fences, however, while Lidar looked out of his depth behind the same rival at Sandown last month. The pair may struggle to concede 10lb to CEDRE BLEU, who did well in a light campaign over hurdles last season. He's a strapping individual and fences should be the making of him this year. Ballyallia Man has won a point-to-point but fell on his debut over fences and may need more time.
Bellvano (GER) 5-1 (11-6) Raced keenly, held up behind, blundered 10th, chased leaders 3 out, well beaten 3rd when hit next, weakened and lost place flat, 6th of 7, well behind Al Ferof (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov.
Lidar (FR) 14-1 (11-2) Tracked leader to 10th, driven and outpaced approaching 3 out, no impression from next, 5th of 7, 28l behind Al Ferof (11-2) at Sandown 2m nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Ballyallia Man (IRE) 50-1 (11-2) Keen led, blundered and fell 3 out, in a race won by Carpincho (11-2) at Market Rasen 2m 6f beg chs (4) gs in Nov, 10 ran.
Cedre Bleu (FR) 10-3 (10-13) Tracked leader, led before 3 out, driven and headed before next, weakened before last, 2nd of 6, 21l behind Spirit Son (11-11) at Exeter 2m 1f Listed nov hdl (1) sft in Feb.