Sparkling Tara was placed a couple of times in the autumn but will probably need this. Gin Cobbler's recent victory came against novice hunters while Hawaii Klass has a bit to find if he is overturn Carlisle running with Tutchec. TOPLANDER will hopefully have learned a bit from his chasing bow at Kelso, where he ran well for a long way. He gets a tentative vote at the likely odds as Smart Act's confidence may have suffered following a heavy fall at Catterick.
Gin Cobbler 6-1 (11-9) Prominent, led before 3 out, clear before 2 out, easily, won at Sedgefield 2m 4f nov hts chs (6) gs beating Soleil D'avril (11-7) by 19l, 12 ran.
Sparkling Tara 9-4fav (11-6) Reminder just after start, in rear, behind when not fluent 8th, soon pulled up, in a race won by Alpha One (11-7) at Sedgefield 2m 6f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Nov, 6 ran.
Hawaii Klass 33-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, reminders before 4 out, no impression, 5th of 11, 22l behind Oil Burner (10-2) at Carlisle 2m 5f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Mar.
Toplander (IRE) 12-1 (10-7) With leader, weakened before 2 out, 4th of 6, 34l behind Night In Milan (11-7) at Kelso 2m 7f nov chs (4) gs.
Tutchec (FR) 5-1 (11-5) Tracked leader, led 8th, headed narrowly after 4 out, every chance when not fluent 2 out, ridden to lead again narrowly between last 2, headed last, no extra in 3rd flat, 3rd of 9, 4 1/2l behind My Friend George (10-6) at Newcastle 3m hcp chs 0-105 (4) gs.
Smart Act (IRE) 11-2 (11-5) Led most of the way until fell 13th, in a race won by Blazing Bull (10-0) at Catterick 3m 1f 5yo nov hcp (4) gd in Mar, 8 ran.
Badgers Retreat 25-1 (11-0) In rear, mistake 2nd and 5th, weakened from 9th, pulled up after 5 out, in a race won by Blazing Bull (10-4) at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs, 13 ran.