Kilty Storm, Chamoss Royale and In Accord form the shortlist in a trappy novices' chase to open the card and the vote is given to Chamoss Royale. The selection was a fair second over hurdles last time but this mare had won her two previous races over fences in style and as she is proven in this ground she looks the one to beat again here today. Kilty Storm ran out of steam over 3m last time so the step-up in trip is not sure to suit and he looks a little high in the weights at present. In Accord ran better than the bare form would suggest when beaten 25l by Gungado last time but this trip may just stretch his stamina and for that reason he is taken on. It is hard to get too excited about the chances of Ice Crystal and we are happy to stick with Chamoss Royale who looks the most likely option to lead them home.
Kilty Storm (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Led, hit 9th and reminders, headed after 3 out, gradually faded, lost 3rd approaching last, 5th of 8, well behind Flintoff (11-6) at Newbury 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Jan.
Chamoss Royale (FR) 4-1 (10-13) Held up behind leaders, ridden and headway to chase winner 2 out, stayed on, 2nd of 6, 2l behind United (11-3) at Sandown 2m 4f mrs hcp hdl (2) hvy in Jan.
Ice Crystal 100-1 (11-0) Soon behind, last of 4, well behind Don't Push It (11-10) at Chepstow 2m nov chs (3) sft.
In Accord 9-1 (11-0) Held up, tracked winner 4th & 7th, with clear leader 12th, ridden 14th, weakened 2 out, 2nd of 5, 25l behind Gungadu (11-8) at Warwick 3m nov chs (2) hvy in Jan.