Since his attentions have switched to jumps TRAMANTANO has never been out of the first three on his seasonal return and, with a fine record here to call upon too, he gets the vote. Our selection won this race last year before going off the boil but that's a familiar pattern with him he's now 3lbs lower. The horse is a dual course winner who almost always runs well at the track and, with the yard in their traditional early-season purple-patch, now is the time to catch him. Awesome George is harshly treated on even the pick of his generally modest form over fences so Ockey de Neulliac is considered a bigger threat as he's unexposed, going the right way and goes well fresh. Fred Bojangals had a run over hurdles to get him spot-on for this, Bob's Dream did well to win when last seen and could resume his progression while Stagecoach Pearl and Folk Tune are not easily overlooked.
Awesome George 10-11fav (11-9) Tracked leader until ridden after 4 out, weakened approaching 2 out, 3rd of 4, 31l behind Herons Well (11-5) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nov chs (4) gd in Apr.
Tramantano 7-1 (11-11) Held up towards rear, ridden after 8th, headway 4 out, jumped left and hit 3 out, soon weakened, 8th of 10, 34l behind Quito Du Tresor (10-10) at Aintree 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in May.
Stagecoach Pearl 10-11fav (11-12) Chased leader, led after 6th until mistake next, not fluent next 2, weakened approaching 3 out, 3rd of 6, 13l behind Novikov (11-3) at Southwell 2m nov chs (4) gd in Aug.
Ockey de Neulliac (FR) 5-2fav (10-12) Held up, chased leaders approaching 4 out, led 3 out, kept on well from last, won at Catterick 2m nov chs 0-115 (4) gs in Feb beating Carrietau (10-9) by 6l, 9 ran.
Fred Bojangals (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders in 4th and keen, chased winner from 2 out, no impression, 2nd of 8, 11l behind Ashammar (10-12) at Sedgefield 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Sep.
Bob's Dream (IRE) 11-4fav (11-9) In touch main group, headway to track leading pair 2 out, went 4 length 2nd last, ridden and stayed on to lead narrowly final 100 yards, just held on, won at Kelso 2m 1f nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Apr beating Carrietau (11-7) by ns, 12 ran.
Folk Tune (IRE) 12-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear,pushed along and in rear from 4th, tailed off 5 out, last of 7, well behind Noble Request (10-6) at Ayr 2m hcp chs (2) gd in Apr.