Paul Nicholls trained the winner of this last year and has two entered this time around. Both carry penalties with Buck's Bond bidding to atone for a fall here last week when in front and Oscargo trying to bounce back from a reverse at Ludlow. The latter, successful earlier at Chepstow, tended to jump left last time which won't help him here. VELATOR steps up in trip after being beaten half-a-length at Cheltenham but was a stayer over hurdles and gets the vote in a decent novice event. Barlow and Seven Woods have both shown promise over fences and can't be ruled out entirely getting 7lb.
Buck's Bond (FR) 2-1 (11-9) Prominent, led 11th, fell 15th, in a race won by Bold Perk (11-1) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gf, 4 ran.
Oscargo (IRE) 11-4 (11-4) Tended to jump left, led, pushed along before 4 out, joined next, ridden and pressed when blundered and headed 2 out, dropped to 3rd and no chance after, 3rd of 6, 8l behind Bold Chief (10-9) at Ludlow 3m nov chs (3) gd in Apr.
Velator 13-8fav (10-13) Mid-division, headway 9th, challenged 5 out, led and jumped left 3 out, clear 2 out, went left last, edged right flat, headed close home, 2nd of 9, 1/2l behind Grouse Lodge (11-1) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Apr.
Barlow (IRE) 3-1 (9-11) In touch, slow 13th, headway under pressure approaching 2 out, soon weakened, 6th of 9, 28l behind Triolo D'Alene (10-9) at Huntingdon 3m hcp chs (2) gd in Apr.
Seven Woods (IRE) 7-1 (11-7) Behind, headway into mid-division when hit 8th, outpaced when switched inside approaching 4 out, soon weakened, 7th of 15, 25l behind Rolling Aces (11-12) at Newbury 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Dec.