Philip Hobbs won this last year with Rougham and saddles the hat-trick-seeking Oldrik this time around. The nine-year-old looks to have his fair share of weight, however, while Taunton third Vino Griego gets little respite from the handicapper and Ackertac isn't making the anticipated progress. It's difficult to know what to make of French import Triolo D'Alene, who hasn't beaten much but could improve for the switch to Nicky Henderson, and we prefer TEMPLE LORD. He should prove a lot better than he showed at Kempton last time where he was hampered a couple of times in a rough race. Royale's Charter is unexposed and may be the pick of the remainder.
Vino Griego (FR) 8-1 (11-5) Took keen hold, led 2nd, soon headed, led 6th, mistake and headed 7th, led again next, mistake 4 out, soon headed, no extra last, 3rd of 6, 14l behind Made In Time (10-6) at Taunton 2m 7f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs.
Oldrik (GER) 5-2 (10-12) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 3rd until next, challenged 2 out, driven flat, stayed on, won at Taunton 2m Novice Limited Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) gs in Dec beating Doeslessthanme (11-5) by 1/2l, 5 ran.
Ackertac (IRE) 2-1fav (11-0) Tracked leading pair, challenged 4 out, ridden to chase winner after next, kept on same pace under pressure, no extra when lost 2nd last, 3rd of 6, 9l behind Loose Preformer (10-9) at Leicester 2m 7f nov chs (4) gd in Dec.
Temple Lord (FR) 15-2 (11-12) Mid-division, headway 11th, ridden and outpaced after 4 out, weakened next, 6th of 13, 31l behind Our Mick (11-8) at Kempton 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Dec.
Court By Surprise (IRE) 15-2 (11-1) With leaders, led from 3rd, blundered next, headed before 11th, weakened after 5 out, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Harry The Viking (11-1) at Doncaster 3m nov chs (4) gs in Dec, 6 ran.
Royale's Charter 5-1 (11-0) Tracked winner to after 4th, continued to dispute 2nd, no chance with winner from 4 out, regained remote 2nd 2 out, 2nd of 3, 13l behind Menorah (11-0) at Taunton 2m 3f nov chs (5) gs in Dec.
Triolo D'alene (FR) 3-1fav (10-10) won at Fontainebleau(FR) 2m 2f 4yo chs sft in Nov beating Golddy Crown (10-7) by 3l, 11 ran.
Global Flyer 9-2 (11-12) Jumped slightly left, made most until 9th, led again next until 11th, ridden to lead again approaching last, edged right and drew clear flat, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft beating Cheney Manor (11-5) by 13l, 6 ran.
Bunclody 7-4 (10-12) Tracked leader, 6 lengths down when slightly hampered and left well clear 4 out, ridden out, won at Haydock 2m nov chs (2) hvy in Dec beating Lady Willa (10-0) by 13l, 3 ran.
Suburban Bay 9-1 (11-0) Raced keenly, went 2nd after 4th, not fluent next, no chance with winner from 4 out, pecked next, lost remote 2nd and weakened 2 out, last of 3, 25l behind Menorah (11-0) at Taunton 2m 3f nov chs (5) gs in Dec.
Pyracantha 25-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, mistake 1st, hampered 3rd, mistake 15th, jumped right and hit 4 out, jumped right and no extra next, 5th of 11, 25l behind Only Witness (9-10) at Ludlow 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Dec.