Fairy Rath got off the mark over fences at Wincanton last month but is 5lb higher here and taking on stronger opposition. Thanks For Coming has probably come up against a couple of decent novices in his two runs over the larger obstacles and should be thereabouts again while Sustainability went close on his chasing bow and Exeter and will know more today. But the one to beat may be WINGS OF SMOKE, who was always going well when beating more experience rivals at Newbury last week. Michael Byrne takes 5lb off Tim Vaughan's grey again and a follow-up is on the cards. None of the others make much appeal on recent form.
Johns Spirit (IRE) 6-1 (11-2) Prominent until 4 out, tailed off, 8th of 14, well behind Saphir River (11-2) at Uttoxeter 2m beg chs (4) sft in Nov.
Thanks For Coming 11-2 (11-1) Chased clear winner until 3rd, went 2nd again 6th until mistake 8th, went 2nd again 3 out, never any chance with impressive winner, 2nd of 4, 14l behind Overturn (11-1) at Sandown 2m beg chs (4) gs in Nov.
Wings Of Smoke (IRE) 12-1 (11-9) Held up in rear, headway approaching 5 out, led travelling best when not fluent last, driven out, won at Newbury 2m 2f cond hcp chs (4yo+) (3) gs in Nov beating Ballywatt (10-10) by 2l, 13 ran.
Prince Buster (FR) 16-1 (11-2) Led until after 1st, tracked leaders, mistake 2nd, led approaching 4 out, headed 3 out, no impression on winner from next, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 14, 14l behind Golden Chieftain (11-9) at Worcester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Oct.
Ray Diamond 25-1 (11-5) In touch on outside, led before 3 out, mistake and headed next, soon ridden and one pace, no extra in 4th before last, 4th of 10, 12l behind Seedsman (11-1) at Lingfield 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) hvy in Nov.
Sustainability (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Took keen hold, chased leaders, went 2nd bypasing omitted 8th (5 out), led before 4 out, driven after 2 out, headed and mistake last, no extra flat, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Milarrow (11-1) at Exeter 2m 1f beg chs (4) gs in Nov.
Fairy Rath (IRE) 5-1 (11-10) Jumped left at times, prominent, led 2nd, joined when mistake 2 out, awkward landing last, in command flat, all out, won at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Nov beating Henry San (11-11) by 1 1/4l, 10 ran.
Preuty Boy (FR) 4-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, ridden 4 out, blundered and weakened next, 3rd of 6, 33l behind Honest John (11-5) at Huntingdon 3m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Nov.