The drop back to 2m is a worry here for Taquin Du Seuil, as his best form over hurdles was over further and he took time to warm to his task when beating Oscar Whisky at Cheltenham. BALDER SUCCES may well have won at Cheltenham in October had he not come down two out but he showed no ill-effects at Warwick, when winning easily. Suited by small fields, he can score again with Choc Thornton preferring the five-year-old to Manyriverstocross, who beat Claret Cloak at Exeter but is 5lb worse off today. Grandouet was easily the best of these over hurdles but jumped moderately and appeared to be struggling when unseating his rider at the last in Hinterland's race here last month - he has a bit to prove now.
Balder Succes (FR) 8-15fav (11-8) Pressed leader, led 6th, not fluent next, jumped right 4 out and 3 out, went clear before next, comfortably, won at Warwick 2m nov chs (3) gs in Nov beating Baby Mix (11-8) by 11l, 5 ran.
Claret Cloak (IRE) Evensfav (11-6) Held up in last pair in touch, headway to track leading pair 6th, challenged going well 4 out, led narrowly next, ridden and hard pressed flat, headed post, 2nd of 5, ns behind Manyriverstocross (11-1) at Exeter 2m 1f nov chs (2) gs in Nov.
De Faoithesdream (IRE) 25-1 (10-13) Tracked leaders, led 5th, nit 3 out, headed next, soon lost place, no impression before last, 6th of 17, 12l behind Anay Turge (10-7) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov.
Grandouet (FR) 4-11fav (11-1) Tracked leader, awkward 1st, led 3 out, headed 2 out, 1 length down when blundered and unseated rider last, in a race won by Hinterland (11-1) at Sandown 2m beg chs (3) sft in Nov, 4 ran.
Hinterland (FR) 11-4 (11-1) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, not fluent 3rd, 9th or 10th, challenged 3 out, led next, soon ridden, 1 length up when blundered and left clear last, won at Sandown 2m beg chs (3) sft in Nov beating Turn Over Sivola (11-1) by 5l, 4 ran.
Manyriverstocross (IRE) 9-2 (11-1) Led, driven and headed narrowly 3 out, ridden flat, stayed on to regain lead post, won at Exeter 2m 1f nov chs (2) gs in Nov beating Claret Cloak (11-6) by ns, 5 ran.
Taquin Du Seuil (FR) 3-1 (11-7) Tracked leader from 2nd, switched outside before 3 out, upsides when pace quickened approaching next, ridden to lead narrowly flat, just held on, won at Cheltenham 2m 4f nov chs (2) gd in Nov beating Oscar Whisky (11-2) by nk, 4 ran.