The consistent HOUBLON DES OBEAUX is proven in this company. He's gone close on a couple of occasions since winning a Grade 2 novice event at Wincanton in November and is just preferred to Super Duty if lining up here rather than at Sandown. The latter has improved with every start over fences, however, culminating in victory at Cheltenham in December and in turn makes more appeal than Fourjacks. Tim Easterby's charge is worth a try at this level having won his chasing bow over a shorter trip here three weeks ago while Goulanes was a Listed winner over hurdles at Cheltenham in November and could go well on his first start over fences. Restless Harry was below par when stepped up in trip last time but has superior form to both Fill The Power and Fentara.
Restless Harry 13-2 (11-10) Held up, hampered 1st, headway after 2nd, ridden 12th, weakened approaching 14th, tailed off, 8th of 13, well behind Rigadin De Beauchene (10-3) at Warwick 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Jan.
Super Duty (IRE) 9-4 (11-0) Made most to 3rd, with leaders, led again 11th, ridden before 2 out, edged right flat, stayed on well, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov chs (2) sft in Dec beating Forgotten Gold (11-5) by 13l, 6 ran.
Fill The Power (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders on inside, not fluent 8th, outpaced from 10th, well held after 3 out, stayed on approaching last to take 2nd flat, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 15l behind Rocky Creek (11-5) at Warwick 3m nov chs (2) sft in Jan.
Fourjacks 3-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, headway 4 out and soon went 3rd, went 2nd before 2 out, ridden before last, kept on to lead towards finish, won at Wetherby 2m 4f nov chs (4) sft in Jan beating Poole Master (11-0) by 1l, 7 ran.
Goulanes (IRE) 7-1 (10-2) Held up, steady headway 7th, chased leaders 4 out, driven 2 out, challenged between horses last, led run-in, driven out and on top in closing stages, won at Cheltenham 3m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Nov beating Cross Kennon (11-2) by nk, 13 ran.
Fentara 8-11fav (10-12) Tracked leaders, went 2nd before 10th, led approaching 3 out, clear after 2 out, not fluent last, easily, won at Kelso 2m 7f mrs nov chs (5yo+) (4) hvy in Jan beating Micro Mission (10-12) by 38l, 5 ran.
Houblon Des Obeaux (FR) 7-4 (11-8) Always prominent, hard driven to challenge approaching 2 out, stayed on after last, never reached winner, 2nd of 4, 1 1/4l behind Court In Motion (11-1) at Lingfield 3m nov chs Grade 2 (1) hvy in Dec.