This looks a tricky puzzle to solve. Alderbrook Lad returned to winning ways over a longer trip here last week but has picked up a 7lb penalty for his troubles. Veauce De Sivola is lightly raced but makes his chasing debut, as does Desgrey, and Surprise Vendor fell here last month in a race in which Dartford Warbler eventually finished last of the four finishers. SMADYNIUM is another tackling fences for the first time but he doesn't look badly treated on recent efforts over the smaller obstacles and will have been well schooled - he earns a tentative vote.
Suprise Vendor (IRE) 9-2 (10-8) Prominent, mistake 2nd, tracking leaders when fell 5th, in a race won by Croco Bay (11-0) at Catterick 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec, 6 ran.
Dartford Warbler (IRE) 4-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, slow 2nd, under pressure 3 out, weakened next, 4th of 6, 13l behind Croco Bay (11-0) at Catterick 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Smadynium (FR) 4-1 (11-4) Led until 3rd, under pressure 4 out, weakened next, stayed on to go 4th closing stages, 4th of 7, 12l behind Leviathan (11-6) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Desgrey 10-1 (11-5) Prominent, kept on, no chance with winner, 2nd of 11, 12l behind Circus Star (10-6) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Dec.
Veauce De Sivola (FR) 12-1 (10-13) Chased leaders to before 2 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 12th of 16, well behind Magnifique Etoile (11-12) at Stratford 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Oct.
Alderbrook Lad (IRE) 7-2 (10-5) Made all, jumped soundly, stayed on well from last, won at Catterick 2m 3f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft beating Billy Cuckoo (11-10) by 8l, 4 ran.