Ulysse Collonges has more to do than when justifying favouritism over a shorter trip here last month as Flat and hurdles winner Stormy Weather proved his versatility when scoring over fences at the first time of asking here three weeks ago and Aland Islands has won four of his five starts, including his first over fences over this trip at Newcastle. VIVA COLONIA has been off the track for almost a year but David O'Meara is capable of getting his charges ready at home and he could have made giant strides over hurdles last season. The seven-year-old could be a bit of value in this, though Yurok will have benefited from his third at Carlisle and the lightly-raced Un Guet Apens gets all the allowances.
Aland Islands (IRE) Evensfav (11-1) Held up in touch on outer, led 4 out, stayed on strongly, eased towards finish, won at Newcastle 2m 4f nov chs (4) gs in Nov beating Harry Hunt (10-12) by 4 1/2l, 11 ran.
Stormy Weather (FR) 5-4fav (11-0) Tracked leader, every chance 3 out, led on bit next, soon clear, comfortably, won at Wetherby 2m nov chs (4) gs in Nov beating Houston Dynimo (11-7) by 10l, 4 ran.
Ulysse Collonges (FR) Evensfav (11-0) With leader, led 3rd, blundered and headed 4 out, held in 2nd when left in lead and clear from 2 out, won at Wetherby 2m nov chs (4) gs in Nov beating Exotic Man (10-8) by 7l, 4 ran.
Mannered 33-1 (10-7) Pulled hard in rear, blundered and unseated rider 2nd, in a race won by Classical Mist (10-7) at Catterick 2m 3f Beginners Chase (0-110) (4yo+) (4) gs, 9 ran.
Viva Colonia (IRE) 20-1 (10-6) Always behind, 12th of 16, 13l behind Raya Star (10-1) at Ascot 2m Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Dec '11.
Yurok (IRE) 7-1 (11-2) Held up in last pair, headway into 4th approaching 4 out, kept on same pace, soon no chance with leaders, went moderate 3rd near finish, 3rd of 10, 17l behind Bury Parade (10-13) at Carlisle 2m beg chs (4) sft in Oct.
Un Guet Apens (FR) 4-1 (10-11) Tracked leader, mistake 4th, weakened 6th, well behind before 3 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Tap Night (11-12) at Ayr 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) sft in Nov, 6 ran.