Prosecco beat Rossini's Dancer by almost two lengths at Wetherby last month but the runner-up is now 3lb better off so there shouldn't be much to choose the pair today. Lockedinthepocket has won on heavy ground here but the drop back in distance may not suit Pauline Robson's gelding, who has never won over 2m. Kudu Country will have needed the run when well behind Prosecco here on his reappearance but was readily outpaced by DESERT CRY at Haydock next time. That was a first success over fences for Donald McCain's seven-year-old but he should continue on an upward curve and he can beat Tom Tate's grey again here, despite a 7lb turnaround in the weights.
Desert Cry (IRE) 3-1fav (11-6) Chased leaders, went 2nd 4 out, led 2 out, drew clear last, comfortably (2 fences omitted), won at Haydock 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Dec beating Kudu Country (11-12) by 10l, 8 ran.
Kudu Country (IRE) 7-2 (11-12) Chased leaders, led 4th, driven clear 4 out, headed 2 out, no extra flat, 2nd of 8, 10l behind Desert Cry (11-6) at Haydock 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Dec.
Prosecco (IRE) 5-2 (10-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd, led before 4 out, ridden before last, kept on well towards finish, won at Wetherby 2m hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Dec beating Rossini's Dancer (10-11) by 1 3/4l, 6 ran.
Rossini's Dancer 15-2 (10-11) Held up in touch, with leader 6th, went 2nd before 4 out, ridden before 2 out, stayed on to chase winner last 75 yards, held towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1 3/4l behind Prosecco (10-12) at Wetherby 2m hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Dec.
Locked Inthepocket (IRE) 6-1 (10-11) Took keen hold, chased leading pair, went 2nd 5th, led 3 out, joined and pressed when left clear 2 out, won at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Nov beating Balding Banker (11-7) by 9l, 8 ran.