GENERAL MILLER has the right credentials to lower the colours of Royal Charm in this excellent trial for the staying novices, while Silent Cliche is well worth a market check on his debut over timber. The last-named won a heavy ground Irish point in November over three miles, so will have plenty of stamina for this contest, and comes from a yard going very well, though he is hard to evaluate individually. Royal Charm may well go off as favourite here and has despatched two reasonable fields at Exeter over 2m 1f on heavy ground. He should improve a fair bit for the longer trip here and is expected to be right there in the shake-up. Even so, Nicky Henderson's General Miller disposed of subsequent Nicholls-trained easy scorer Ghizao here at Cheltenham last month, on what was an impressive hurdling introduction. Unbeaten in three career starts, and proven on the ground, he looks to have at least as much scope for improvement for this longer distance and is given the vote. Fiulin is an interesting recruit to the winter game, having joined Evan Williams from Marco Botti, with whom he was rated 102 when last seen on the flat. He looks a guaranteed stayer over this trip and clearly has a touch of class, though he will have to prove in these conditions. Restless Harry was not far away behind the classy Reve De Sivola at Newbury and acts with plenty of cut, so has to be short-list material. He will probably be a bit of value coming from a stable not noted for cutting it on the big Saturday cards, though preference is for General Miller.
Bob 'n' You (IRE) 9-4fav (11-4) Held up towards rear, not fluent 5th, headway and mistake 3 out, every chance when fell last, in a race won by King Ar Aghaidh (11-9) at Kempton 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Nov, 10 ran.
General Miller 5-1 (10-12) Held up, making steady headway when bumped 2 out, chased leader soon after, challenged last, driven and stayed on gamely to lead final 75 yards, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) sft in Dec beating Ghizao (10-12) by 1l, 8 ran.
Restless Harry 40-1 (11-7) Led, kept slight advantage when pressed from 3 out, narrowly headed last, rallied gamely under pressure run-in, went 2nd near finish, 2nd of 11, 1/2l behind Reve De Sivola (11-7) at Newbury 2m 5f Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) (1) hvy in Dec.
Royal Charm (FR) 9-2 (11-7) (comments restricted due to poor visibility) chased leaders, led approaching 3 out, clear flat (no time taken), won at Exeter 2m 1f 4yo hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec beating James De Vassy (11-9) by 8l, 6 ran.
Fiulin 16-1 (10-0) Led and set strong pace, ridden and headed over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 10th of 11, 36l behind Nanton (9-10) at Doncaster 1m 7f hcp 0-110 (2) gf in Sep (flat).
Silent Cliche (IRE) 4-1 (12-0) Cl up in main group, mstk 4th & prog in 5th 6out, ld aftr 4out, went clr aftr 2out, 5l adv at last, sow, won at Dromahane 3m ire ptp hvy in Nov beating Outlaw Pete (12-0) by 6l, 12 ran.
William Hogarth 3-1fav (11-6) Raced wide, led, driven along well before 2 out, strongly pressed 2 out, kept slight lead until headed last and not quicken flat, 2nd of 8, 2l behind Novikov (10-0) at Kempton 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft.