Prophete de Guye won this last year but may have peaked a shade early this season as he won nicely at Market Rasen recently and has a 7lb penalty to carry. Loch Ba won easily on his first start for Mick Channon at Kempton but has a 14lb rise to contend with and will need a career best to win off that mark. NEZ ROUGE is preferred as he also suffered a hike in the weights for an impressive victory at Market Rasen during the summer but ran well off his new mark at Wetherby three weeks ago. The lightly-raced 11-year-old might just be good enough to land this. The Rainbow Hunter is another with a chance on the back of a win at Southwell and Carrickboy at his best could also figure.
The Rainbow Hunter 9-1 (11-5) Held up, headway 10th, went 2nd after 15th, led after 4 out, edged right flat, held on, won at Southwell 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd in May beating Fabalu (11-10) by nk, 6 ran.
Carrickboy (IRE) 18-1 (10-12) Held up mid-division, pushed along and weakened before 14th, pulled up before next, in a race won by Saint Are (10-13) at Aintree 3m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) gd in Apr, 14 ran.
Brackloon High (IRE) 25-1 (10-6) Held up towards rear, reminders after 8th, pushed along after 10th, pulled up before 13th, in a race won by Saint Are (10-13) at Aintree 3m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) gd in Apr, 14 ran.
Prophete de Guye (FR) 7-2 (11-12) In touch in rear, improved 6th, went 3rd 9th, chased leader 4 out, challenged next, led 2 out, ridden clear, won at Market Rasen 3m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs beating Rossmore Lad (11-9) by 11l, 7 ran.
Nez Rouge (FR) 4-1 (10-2) In touch, hit 5th, went left and bumped 11th, chasing leaders when hit 4 out, stayed on to 3rd post, 3rd of 11, 6l behind Bless The Wings (11-2) at Wetherby 2m 4f listed hcp chs (1) gs.
Loch Ba (IRE) 6-4fav (11-5) Tracked leader, jumped left 4th, led 4 out, clear next, comfortable, won at Kempton 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs beating Plum Pudding (11-11) by 19l, 9 ran.
Politeo (FR) 20-1 (10-5) With winner, ridden before 3 out, soon weakened, 12th of 16, 29l behind The Disengager (11-0) at Market Rasen 2m 6f listed hcp chs (1) gd in Sep.
The Sawyer (BEL) 11-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, with leader 11th, ridden before 3 out, soon weakened, 8th of 10, 32l behind Dover's Hill (11-11) at Sandown 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Mar.
Earth Planet (IRE) 11-4 (10-8) Held up 4th and last in touch, close up 12th, headway to lead narrowly approaching 3 out, ridden after next, headed narrowly last, kept on flat, just held, 2nd of 4, 1/2l behind Upham Atom (11-0) at Wincanton 3m 3f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gf in Apr.