Sue Smith won this last year and No Planning, who was having just his second start over fences when touched off by Buck Mulligan at Sedgefield, will have been primed to complete the stable double. But RED ROCCO, a consistent and progressive type over timber, looked a real staying type over fences when runner-up to Highland Lodge on his chasing debut at Towcester and with more to offer looks the one to beat, though Same Difference was only half-a-length behind him that day and is an obvious threat. Fentara was also making his debut over fences when a close third to Aland Islands over 2m4f here last month and with the longer trip sure to suit should get involved. Dark Glacier made too many mistakes on his chasing bow at Carlisle while Triptico was a long way behind Same Difference over timber at Ffos Las in April.
Dark Glacier (IRE) 15-2 (11-4) Chased leaders, lost place 3rd, soon towards rear, beaten 5 out, 5th of 7, well behind Rival D'estruval (11-4) at Carlisle 2m 4f nov chs (4) hvy in Oct.
Same Difference (IRE) 11-4 (11-3) In touch, ridden in 4th after 3 out, stayed on from 2 out, went 3rd 2 out, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 6, 6l behind Highland Lodge (11-3) at Towcester 3m Beginners Chase (0-140) (4yo+) (3) gs in Nov.
Red Rocco (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Chased winner throughout, awkward at 9th, slight peck 4 out, ridden and no impression before 2 out, 2nd of 6, 5l behind Highland Lodge (11-3) at Towcester 3m Beginners Chase (0-140) (4yo+) (3) gs in Nov.
No Planning 10-3 (11-2) Tracked leaders, mistake 2nd, not fluent next, led 10th, headed when not fluent last, always just held after, stayed on, 2nd of 9, nk behind Buck Mulligan (11-6) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Nov.
Fentara 10-1 (10-5) Held up mid-division on inner, headway 10th, ridden before 3 out, kept on, 3rd of 11, 6l behind Aland Islands (11-1) at Newcastle 2m 4f nov chs (4) gs in Nov.
Triptico (FR) 9-2 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway before 3 out, chased winner 2 out, kept on and no impression, 2nd of 6, 4 1/2l behind Kruzhlinin (11-2) at Carlisle 2m Beginners Chase (0-125) (4yo+) (3) hvy in Nov.
Netminder (IRE) 12-1 (11-1) In rear, steady headway from 4 out, kept on from 2 out, no impression, 6th of 11, 20l behind Aland Islands (11-1) at Newcastle 2m 4f nov chs (4) gs in Nov.