Chico Time reverts to hurdles after a couple of wins over fences last month but looks to be on a high mark. Filippo Lippi returns from a break and may be better on a faster surface but Newbury third Mic Aubin and Bear Dancing probably still have a bit of scope over hurdles and Gentleman Jimmy confirmed his well-being with a game win at Plumpton earlier this month, though connections of third The Red Laird will fancy their chances of turning the tables on 5lb better terms. But the one to beat may be MONSIEUR CADOU, who got off the mark at Hereford on his latest start and is open to further improvement over this longer trip.
Mic Aubin (FR) 16-1 (10-6) Tracked leaders, ridden and outpaced 3 out, kept on under pressure to go 3rd towards finish, no chance with leading pair, 3rd of 16, 17l behind Full Of Joy (10-12) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Nov.
Sawpit Solitaire 8-1 (11-2) Chased leaders in 4th when fell 6th, in a race won by Prince Tom (11-7) at Taunton 3m nov hcp 0-115 (4) gd in Nov, 12 ran.
Chico Time (IRE) 7-2fav (11-5) Held up, headway to chase leader 15th, ridden 3 out, stayed on under pressure flat to lead towards finish, won at Market Rasen 3m 5f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Nov beating Rudinero (10-11) by 2l, 6 ran.
Nobby Kivambo (IRE) 12-1 (10-6) Pressed leader, led 4 out to before next, soon ridden, weakened next, 6th of 16, 23l behind Full Of Joy (10-12) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Nov.
Monsieur Cadou (FR) 11-4fav (11-7) In touch in mid-division, closed before 7th, challenged 2 out, led before last, stayed on, won at Hereford 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gs in Nov beating The Gripper (10-12) by 4l, 14 ran.
Bear Dancing (IRE) 4-1 (10-12) With leader, led approaching 2 out, soon ridden, headed run-in, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 10, 1 1/4l behind Code Blue (10-12) at Hexham 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Nov.
Balustrade (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Led until after 2nd, weakened from 7th, last of 7, 39l behind Amirico (10-9) at Fontwell 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) hvy in Nov.
Filippo Lippi (IRE) 7-2fav (11-2) Mid-division, headway approaching 8th, went 2nd when not fluent last, no impression, 2nd of 13, 5l behind Changing Lanes (11-10) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Jul.
Gentleman Jimmy 10-1 (11-9) Held up in touch, smooth headway before 4 out, led before next, strongly challenged from 2 out, stayed on well under pressure, won at Plumpton 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gs beating Massini Moon (11-11) by nk, 11 ran.
The Red Laird 20-1 (11-9) Mid-division, headway after 4th, soon chasing leaders, ridden to challenge 2 out, soon one pace, 3rd of 11, 5l behind Gentleman Jimmy (11-9) at Plumpton 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gs.
Miller's Dawn 8-1 (10-12) Mid-division when fell 1st, in a race won by Rey Nacarado (11-6) at Plumpton 3m 2f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs, 12 ran.
Aspolan (GER) 16-1 (10-9) Behind, headway approaching 7th, soon under pessure and weakened, last of 11, well behind Marias Rock (11-0) at Plumpton 2m 4f hcp 0-90 (5) gs.