Royaume Bleu would have a big chance here on his best form but it's a long time since he's shown that. Kirkhammerton has similar credentials but struggles to get his head in front while Overton Lad has pulled up in both starts this autumn and is starting look a light of former days. Borderhopper was still beaten more than 30 lengths despite finishing second at Hexham so we'll give a tentative vote to KINKEEL. Aged 13, he's not going to improve much on his reappearance at Cheltenham but faced an impossible task against good horses that day and did show enough last season to suggest he could still win a race like this off his current mark.
Borderhopper 28-1 (10-10) Always behind, 2nd of 5, 31l behind Papamoa (11-3) at Hexham 3m 1f Beginners Chase (0-110) (4yo+) (4) sft in Nov.
Kirkhammerton (IRE) 11-2 (11-0) Took keen hold in touch, blundered 9th, struggling 4 out, 5th of 7, 26l behind Samenerve (11-12) at Towcester 2m 3f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Nov.
Overton Lad 16-1 (10-9) Towards rear, pushed along before 4th, lost place 6th, soon in rear, tailed off and pulled up before 13th, in a race won by Dunkelly Castle (11-4) at Warwick 3m 2f hcp chs 0-100 (5) sft in Nov, 8 ran.
Royaume Bleu (FR) 8-1 (10-11) Held up in touch, hit 13th, outpaced in 5th before next, 5th of 10, 27l behind Royal Mile (9-13) at Chepstow 3m cnd hcp chs (0-95) (5) gs in Oct.
Kinkeel (IRE) 200-1 (11-0) Chased leading pair to 4th, struggling 6th, soon lost touch, continued tailed off, last of 6, well behind Wishfull Thinking (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m chs (2) sft in Nov.
Monsieur Georges (FR) 40-1 (9-11) Mid-division, lost place when mistake 10th, pulled up before next, in a race won by Royale Knight (11-4) at Towcester 3m hcp chs 0-95 (5) gf in Oct, 16 ran.