We weren't overly impressed with Oscar Whisky's jumping on his chase debut here last month but he was only beaten a neck by the smart Taquin Du Seuil and will know more today. However, a line through third The Romford Pele suggests Nicky Henderson's charge will struggle to get the better of WONDERFUL CHARM, despite receiving 8lb. The latter looks a natural chaser and is working his way steadily through the ranks. He has hardly put a foot wrong in three starts over fences and can extend his unbeaten record here. Close House should make a chaser but this is a baptism of fire and he didn't manage a win here in five tries over timber.
Red Riverman 17-2 (11-9) Held up in rear, headway 5 out, ridden after next, soon no impression, 5th of 8, 26l behind Oscar Hill (11-12) at Exeter 2m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Nov.
Wonderful Charm (FR) 8-11fav (11-8) Tracked leader, challenged 3 out, led after last, soon ridden and ran on well, won at Newbury 2m 4f nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov beating Up To Something (11-8) by 6l, 4 ran.
Captain Ocana (IRE) 20-1 (11-6) Never better than mid-division, 14th of 18, 39l behind Quick Jack (10-13) at Listowel 2m cond hcp hdl 80-102 in Sep.
Close House 16-1 (11-4) Mid-division on inside, tracked leaders after 4 out, ridden after 2 out, kept on same pace, weakened flat, 9th of 17, 19l behind Return Spring (9-13) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Nov.
Oscar Whisky (IRE) 4-6fav (11-2) Gifted lead 1st, set steady pace after, quickened when joined approaching 2 out, ridden and headed narrowly flat, kept on, just held, 2nd of 4, nk behind Taquin Du Seuil (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nov chs (2) gd in Nov.