Cornas beat Tchico Polos by almost three lengths at Sandown last month with the disappointing I'msingingtheblues and French Opera further behind. That was in a handicap, however, and the quartet re-oppose on entirely different terms here. The latter could be the one to take from that race today as that was his first start since beating Tchico Polos at Ayr last April and a win here would probably book his place in next month's Queen Mother Champion Chase. But we marginally prefer SPORTS LINE who was a good novice in Ireland last season and, though well beaten on his first start for Donald McCain at Exeter in December, will strip fitter here and is suited by plenty of give in the ground. Oiseau De Nuit is decent on his day but looks out of his depth in this company.
Cornas (NZ) 14-1 (11-2) Mid-division, closed 4th, challenged 3 out, led approacing next, stayed on well flat, won at Sandown 2m hcp chs (2) sft in Jan beating Tchico Polos (11-6) by 2 3/4l, 9 ran.
Tchico Polos (FR) 25-1 (11-7) Held up in touch, mistake 1st, weakened 6th, 7th of 9, 44l behind Master Minded (11-7) at Ascot 2m 1f Grade 1 chs (1) gs in Jan.
French Opera 5-1 (11-12) Prominent, not fluent 3rd, headway 7th, not fluent next, lost place and ridden 4 out, soon behind, last of 9, 35l behind Cornas (11-2) at Sandown 2m hcp chs (2) sft in Jan.
Oiseau de Nuit (FR) 66-1 (11-7) Mid-division in main group, outpaced 4 out, soon lost place, weakened 2 out, 8th of 9, 37l behind Master Minded (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Sports Line (IRE) 3-1 (11-4) Led and keen, mistake 2 out, soon headed and weakened, 4th of 5, 14l behind Royal Charm (11-0) at Exeter 2m 1f grad ch (2) gs in Dec.
Take The Breeze (FR) 7-2fav (11-7) Held up, not fluent 6th, headway 15th, went 2nd 3 out, led after 2 out, headed approaching last, edged right flat, no extra towards finish, 4th of 11, 9l behind Eric's Charm (10-11) at Sandown 3m hcp chs (2) gd.
I'msingingtheblues (IRE) 8-1 (10-13) Held up in rear, took keen hold, not fluent 4th, ridden and weakened after 4 out, 8th of 9, 31l behind Cornas (11-2) at Sandown 2m hcp chs (2) sft in Jan.