The jury is out on last season's Champion Hurdle fourth Celestial Halo after a couple of lacklustre efforts over fences and he's never won over this trip. Zaynar gave weight and a beating to Karabak at Ascot just over a year ago but the positions were reversed behind Silviniaco Conti at the same track last month. Restless Harry split the pair that day and there may not be much to choose between the trio again here. Carlito Brigante looks a progressive type but we expect a big run from SENTRY DUTY. A decent stayer on the Flat, he seems best when allowed plenty of time between his races and his turn of foot could be decisive here if, as expected, there is a strong pace.
Afsoun (FR) 25-1 (11-9) Always in rear, ridden 3 out, 10th of 13, 30l behind Aegean Dawn (9-9) at Ascot 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gs in Nov.
Ashkazar (FR) 16-1 (11-8) Raced wide, held up in touch, weakened 3 out, tailed off, last of 8, well behind Silviniaco Conti (11-4) at Ascot 2m 3f hdl G2 (1) gs in Nov.
Carlito Brigante (IRE) 11-4 (11-6) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd 5th, challenged 2 out, led last, ridden out flat, won at Haydock 2m 4yo hdl (2) gs in Nov beating Bocamix (10-12) by 2l, 5 ran.
Celestial Halo (IRE) 6-4 (11-1) Tracked leading pair, tracked leader before 7th, left in narrow lead and hampered 11th, mistake and headed 12th, blundered 3 out, soon lost 2nd, no impression before next, hung left and stayed on again flat, 3rd of 5, 4 1/2l behind Cois Farraig (11-1) at Newbury 2m 4f nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov.
Restless Harry 9-1 (11-4) Chased leader until pushed along 4 out, rallied from 2 out, stayed on to modest 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 8, 9l behind Silviniaco Conti (11-4) at Ascot 2m 3f hdl G2 (1) gs in Nov.
Zaynar (FR) 13-8fav (11-8) Raced widest of all, held up in rear, never travelling with any conviction, pushed along and headway 7th, went 3rd well before 2 out, driven and hung right from 2 out, no chance with leading duo lost 3rd towards finish, 4th of 8, 9l behind Silviniaco Conti (11-4) at Ascot 2m 3f hdl G2 (1) gs in Nov.
Any Given Day (IRE) 11-1 (11-1) In touch, headway to chase leaders 3 out, riddden and one pace before last, 4th of 17, 6l behind Menorah (11-12) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Nov.
Karabak (FR) 3-1 (11-0) Held up, pushed along briefly after 7th, headway to chase winner after 3 out, mistake and no chance from next, 2nd of 8, 7l behind Silviniaco Conti (11-4) at Ascot 2m 3f hdl G2 (1) gs in Nov.
Kayf Aramis 9-1 (11-0) Chased leader, challenged from 8th, took narrow lead after 4 out, ridden and headed before 2 out, weakened before last, 5th of 6, 15l behind Big Buck's (11-8) at Newbury 3m hdl G2 (1) gs in Nov.
Sentry Duty (FR) 12-1 (11-10) In rear, mistake 7th, 10th and beaten when mistake 2 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Big Buck's (11-10) at Cheltenham 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar, 14 ran.
Quartz de Thaix (FR) 14-1 (11-12) Made all, jumped well, ridden before 2 out, stayed on well, won at Aintree 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) sft in Nov beating Son Of Flicka (11-3) by 4 1/2l, 11 ran.
Tail of The Bank (IRE) 14-1 (11-12) Took keen hold, in touch, chased leaders 4 out, led on outside approaching 2 out, soon pressed, stayed on gamely flat, driven to assert final 100 yards, won at Newbury 2m nov hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Mar beating Osric (11-10) by 1/2l, 11 ran.
Banjaxed Girl 6-4fav (11-2) Led, went slightly right 4th, increased pace 3 out, pushed along before next, kept advantage until not fluent last, headed flat, not quite pace of winner but stayed on well to hold 2nd, 2nd of 6, 1l behind Carole's Legacy (10-12) at Kempton 3m mrs lst hdl (1) gd in Nov.