A modest handicap and Milton Des Bieffes is selected ahead of Jacarado and Norseman Cateline. The selection was able to start his British career off a basement mark and having shown plenty of aptitude for gluepot conditions, he should be up to defying his latest rise in the weights. Jacarado is dropped in trip but has to be respected as a winner around here. He is plenty exposed and the extra weight could tell. Norseman Cateline has seen the racecourse often in the last year and has sadly flattered to deceive on more than one occasion. Yvanovitch would have formbook claims if reproducing some of the form shown when with Lavinia Taylor. Parish Oak will experience few problems with the prevailing conditions although he may find things happening a little too quickly even at this level. Not a strong contest by any stretch of the imagination and Milton des Bieffes appears to be the percentage call.
Yvanovitch (FR) 25-1 (10-12) Always towards rear, 5th of 7, 49l behind Snowy (10-11) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Dec.
Parish Oak 12-1 (10-3) Held up, ridden and headway 3 out, weakened 2 out, 4th of 13, 16l behind Mokum (10-8) at Leicester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (3) gd in Dec.
Milton Des Bieffes (FR) 3-1fav (11-4) Chased leader, led 6th, jumped left 7th and 3 out, ridden out, won at Hereford 2m hcp chs 0-90 (5) hvy beating Thieves'glen (11-6) by 2 1/2l, 9 ran.
Norseman Cateline (FR) 5-2fav (11-7) Soon led, blundered and headed 4th, close up until weakened 3 out, 9th of 12, 39l behind Tin Healy's Pass (10-5) at Hexham 2m nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) gs in Nov.
Jacarado (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) Mid-division, ridden, weakened 4 out, 6th of 17, 37l behind Tank Buster (10-8) at Ludlow 3m hcp chs 0-95 (5) gs.
Kercabellec (FR) 14-1 (10-7) In touch, joined winner 7th, blundered 11th, soon weakened, 7th of 11, 28l behind Sitting Duck (10-10) at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp chs 0-100 (4) sft.
Blazing Batman 100-1 (10-0) Prominent to 3rd, mistake and struggling next, continued, tailed off, 8th of 9, well behind William Bonney (11-6) at Cheltenham 2m 1f nov hcp hdl (3) hvy.
Surfboard (IRE) 11-2 (11-9) Led, ridden 7th, headed and weakened 4 out, 3rd of 7, 36l behind Brave Villa (11-4) at Hereford 2m nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) gs in Nov.