Two For Gold, who arrives on a four-timer, is well equipped to cope if this turns into a war of attrition and he won in this grade at Warwick. Sam Brown did likewise at Haydock and is held in high regard. Danny Whizzbang has similar credentials but folded tamely in the Kauto Star at Kempton on Boxing Day. PYM’s accurate jumping should stand him in good stead again and he is the only one of these to have won at the track. Copperhead has won twice since a pipe-opener at Chepstow but now steps out of handicap company.
Danny Whizzbang (IRE) 6-1 (11-7) Chased leaders on inside, left 3rd and hampered 4 out, no impression when mistake 2 out, 3rd of 7, 20 1/4l behind Slate House (11-7) at Kempton 3m (1) sft in Dec.
Sam Brown 9-4 (11-0) Tracked leader, mistake 4th, led 6th, headed 8th, led again 2 out, ran on, comfortable, won at Haydock 2m 4f (1) hvy in Jan beating Knight In Dubai (11-0) by 15l, 4 ran.
Two For Gold (IRE) 3-1 (11-0) Led until after 1st, prominent, led 13th, headed before last, led again flat, stayed on gamely, won at Warwick 3m (1) sft in Jan beating Hold The Note (11-0) by 1/2l, 7 ran.
Pym (IRE) 2-1fav (11-6) Made most, joined 14th, pushed clear between last 2, ridden out flat, stayed on well, won at Cheltenham 3m 1f (2) gs in Dec beating Imperial Aura (11-6) by 8l, 5 ran.
Copperhead 3-1fav (11-11) Prominent in chasing group, closer 11th (water), 2nd before 4 out, led going well 2 out, looked to be idling in 1 length lead when left clear at the last, won at Newbury 3m 2f hcp (3) sft in Dec beating Moving In Style (10-9) by 3 1/4l, 10 ran.
Alsa Mix (FR) 13-8 (11-6) Led until approaching omitted 2 out, kept on same pace, 2nd of 4, 4l behind Annie Mc (11-6) at Wetherby 2m 3f (4) sft in Jan.