Disappointingly just the four runners line up for this novices' chase in which it is hard to get away from DEEP PURPLE, who gets the vote ahead of Song of Songs and Restless D'artaix. Nicky Henderson's gelding made a pleasing debut to his chasing career when successful at Plumpton last month and, after two years off after various problems, he has solid claims. James Fanshawe's Song of Songs stepped up on his first start over fences when winning at Leicester last time and the son of Singspiel looks to be going the right way. Tony Carroll's Kinkeel needs to improve considerably on all known form to trouble the judge and a better bet looks to be Deep Purple. Disappointing at Kempton over Christmas last time, the Evan Williams-trained gelding had shown decent form prior to that and a reproduction of earlier form may well suffice.
Deep Purple 15-8 (11-8) Chased leader until reminders and lost 2nd 5th, soon driven in 3rd until 7th, soon weakened, tailed off when pulled up 4 out in race won by Original (11-2) at Kempton 2m nov chs Grd 2 (1) gd in Dec, 6 ran.
Kinkeel (IRE) 8-1 (10-13) With winner, raced keenly, led after 3 out, headed 2 out, beaten before last, last of 2, 11l behind Rustarix (11-8) at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov chs (3) gd.
Restless D'artaix (FR) 13-8fav (11-0) Tracked leader, challenged 2 out, led approaching last, driven out, won at Plumpton 2m 1f beg chs (4) hvy in Feb beating The Package (11-0) by 1l, 5 ran.
Song of Songs 3-10fav (11-0) Chased leaders, challenged 3 out, led on bit last, very easily, won at Leicester 2m beg chs (4) gd in Feb beating Iffy (11-0) by 1 1/2l, 4 ran.