Nicky Henderson has trained the winner of this three times in the last eight years and it's significant that Barry Geraghty keeps faith with last month's C&D winner Tanks For That, even though runner-up Havingotascoobydo is 4lb better off for a three-lengths defeat. Rileyev and Oh Crick were further behind that day but the former scored on his latest start at Newbury when Oh Crick was back in third. Paul Nicholls' pair Takeroc and Robinson Collonges look to have something to find at the weights but Astracad is interesting now tried in handicaps and OISEAU DE NUIT is back over his best trip. Only 7lb higher than when successful in the Grand Annual over C&D in March when Oh Crick and Tanks For That were well behind, the top weight gets a tentative vote with a claimer reducing his burden by 7lb.
Oiseau de Nuit (FR) 33-1 (9-13) Held up in mid-division, headway when bad mistake 11th and lost place, no impression after, well beaten from 4 out, 12th of 20, 45l behind Great Endeavour (10-3) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Nov.
Tanks For That (IRE) 13-2 (11-7) Prominent, mistake 3rd, challenged 6th, soon led, headed approaching 2 out, led again before last, driven out, won at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov beating Havingotascoobydo (10-11) by 3l, 17 ran.
Dave's Dream (IRE) 9-1 (10-3) Held up in touch, jumped left 9th, 3rd 4 out, weakened after next, 11th of 20, 40l behind Great Endeavour (10-3) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Nov.
Takeroc (FR) 6-1 (11-2) Hampered 1st, tracked leading trio, went 3rd 7th until next, went 3rd again before 3 out, challenged and chance 2 out, went 2nd between last 2, no impression when weakened to 3rd closing stages, 3rd of 11, 5l behind I'msingingtheblues (11-9) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs (2) gd in Nov.
Robinson Collonges (FR) 5-1fav (10-11) Mid-division in touch, chased leaders under pressure approaching 3 out, ridden next, soon weakened, 13th of 20, well behind Dynaste (10-13) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Nov.
Oh Crick (FR) 8-1 (11-12) Hit 1st, held up in last pair but in touch, headway approaching 4 out, went 3rd 4 out, stayed on to 2nd last, outpaced into 3rd flat, 3rd of 7, 4 1/2l behind Rileyev (10-8) at Newbury 2m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov.
Astracad (FR) 13-2 (11-2) Held up in 4th, close up 4 out, led and hit next, joined next, driven and headed approaching last, kept on same pace in clear 2nd, no chance with winner flat, 2nd of 7, 7l behind Al Ferof (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov.
Havingotascoobydo (IRE) 7-1 (10-11) Held up in rear, not fluent 2nd, headway on outside form 9th, went 3rd after 3 out, hung left before next, stayed on to take 2nd flat, no impression on winner, 2nd of 17, 3l behind Tanks For That (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov.
Rileyev (FR) 3-1 (10-8) Held up in rear, not fluent 3rd (water), driven along from 3 out, stayed on from next, only 5th jumping last, strong run under pressure flat, led close home, won at Newbury 2m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov beating Passato (11-5) by nk, 7 ran.