Neither Aegean Dawn nor Court In Motion has seen the racecourse since spring last year, while Fairwood Dante has been out of action even longer. Old Tricks also makes his debut over fences after a break while Poungach slipped and fell at the first at Chepstow four weeks ago and may need his confidence rebuilding. Houblon Des Obeaux won easily at Worcester last month and looks a nice prospect but is now giving weight to better horses over a shorter trip and he may find KING OF THE NIGHT too strong. He wasn't entirely foot-perfect at Cheltenham last month but was still only beaten five lengths behind the smart Carlito Brigante and will know more today. Tony Star is a very decent handicap hurdler and could also go well if his jumping holds up.
Houblon Des Obeaux (FR) 9-4fav (11-0) Tracked leaders, challenged 10th, not fluent 4 out, led approaching last, clear flat, easily, won at Worcester 2m 7f nov chs (4) gs in Oct beating Valmari (11-0) by 11l, 10 ran.
Aegean Dawn 5-1 (11-0) Towards rear of mid-division, headway on outside approaching 3 out, outpaced next, weakened before last, 16th of 22, 31l behind Carlito Brigante (10-12) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Mar '11.
Court In Motion (IRE) 7-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, not fluent 8th, headway approaching 3 out, disputing 3rd and staying on when bumped and fell 2 out, in a race won by Saint Are (11-4) at Aintree 3m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Apr '11, 19 ran.
Fairwood Dante (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Prominent, took keen hold, led approaching 3 out, soon headed and not much room, weakened well before 2 out, tailed off, 8th of 15, well behind Rif (10-12) at Towcester 3m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct '10.
King Of The Night (GER) 5-1 (11-3) Held up, jumped right and not fluent when closing 4 out, went right 3 out, left 3rd 2 out, stayed on same pace flat, no impression on leaders, 3rd of 7, 5l behind Carlito Brigante (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nov chs (2) gs in Oct.
Old Tricks (IRE) 50-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders on inside, took keen hold, mistake 5th, soon lost place, behind 8th, tailed off when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Simonsig (11-4) at Aintree 2m 4f nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Apr, 10 ran.
Poungach (FR) 7-4 (11-4) With winner when slithered on landing and fell 1st, in a race won by Fingal Bay (11-4) at Chepstow 2m 3f nov chs (3) sft in Oct, 5 ran.
Tony Star (FR) 10-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway approaching 3 out, chased leading pair next, ridden and closed approaching last, stayed on well flat, just held, 3rd of 13, 1/2l behind Lamb Or Cod (10-0) at Chepstow 2m 4f hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Oct.