Charlie Longsdon's Sir Ian has done everything asked of him this season in winning both starts at Worcester but an 11lb rise for the latest of them makes this tougher under the burden of 11st 12lb so he may struggle to give weight away all round. Or Bleu ran encouragingly behind Songe at Sandown recently on his reappearance and has place claims, while at the bottom of the handicap David Pipe's Prince Geeno has to be considered on his return. Emma Lavelle's Zarrafakt faces no easy task under his penalty for his Folkestone win and a better bet looks to be another last time out winner, FLEMISH INVADER. The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained gelding won with plenty in hand at Warwick recently and can follow up here. Kim Bailey's Buffalo Bob lost no caste in defeat at Bangor last time and he looks the main danger to the selection.
Sir Ian (IRE) 9-4fav (11-7) Made all, ridden after 3 out, soon clear, stayed on well, won at Worcester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Oct beating Alesandro Mantegna (11-10) by 6l, 7 ran.
Or Bleu (FR) 11-2 (11-7) Led until 3rd, chased leaders, under pressure 12th, weakened last, 3rd of 7, 12l behind Songe (11-12) at Sandown 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd.
Sound Stage 11-1 (11-12) Mid-division, hit 4th, headway approaching 3 out, went 3rd after 2 out, no impression when weakened to 4th after last, 4th of 23, 23l behind Aegean Dawn (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs.
Nostringsattached (IRE) 9-1 (11-1) Held up towards rear, staeady headway before 5 out, chased leaders before 2 out, no impression when weakened and lost 3rd last, 4th of 12, 9l behind Grand Slam Hero (11-11) at Ffos Las 3m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Aug.
Regal Heights (IRE) 10-1 (11-11) Held up towards rear, headway 10th, mistake 13th, ridden after 16th, weakened next, tailed off, 7th of 10, well behind Ouzbeck (11-11) at Cheltenham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-150 (2) gd in Apr.
Buffalo Bob (IRE) 7-2 (11-8) Led, hard ridden and strongly challenged approaching 2 out, headed last, weakened quickly flat, 2nd of 11, 8l behind Summery Justice (11-9) at Bangor 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft.
Zarrafakt (IRE) 2-1fav (11-8) Held up in rear, went right 2nd, smooth headway 12th, tracked leading pair 3 out, 2nd travelling well before next where not fluent, led on bit last, not extended, won at Folkestone 2m 5f hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft beating Ray Mond (10-13) by 4l, 7 ran.
Thetwincamdrift (IRE) 12-1 (11-1) In touch, outpaced when hit 9th, weakened approaching 2 out, tailed off when hampered last, 10th of 14, 44l behind Picture This (10-3) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gd in Apr.
The Vicar (IRE) 16-1 (11-8) Held up in touch, slow 11th, soon driven and lost place, pulled up 2 out, in a race won by Summery Justice (11-9) at Bangor 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft, 11 ran.
Flemish Invader (IRE) 5-2fav (11-9) Chased leaders, went 2nd well before and led 11th, headed 3out, rallied to lead again 2 out, stayed on well flat, won at Warwick 2m 4f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gs beating Mylord Collonges (10-13) by 8l, 8 ran.
Prince Geeno (IRE) 13-2 (11-9) Made all, ridden clear 2 out, stayed on, won at Warwick 2m 3f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) sft in Dec beating Power Shared (11-11) by 13l, 13 ran.