I'msingingtheblues has his sights lowered and wasn't disgraced over a longer trip at Cheltenham last week. He had stablemate Consigliere behind at that track last month. Fine Parchment has been in good form but has attracted the handicapper's attention and has more on his plate here. Nikola is only a pound higher than when second to Frankie Figg at Aintree, however, and Prince De Beauchene is steadily coming to hand. But the selection is RIVALISTE, who will handle the going better than most and was still travelling within himself when uncharacteristically coming to grief at Newbury last time. With a clear round here, he should prove hard to beat.
I'msingingtheblues (IRE) 25-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, headway 11th, every chance 2 out, soon ridden, no extra last 100 yards, 4th of 15, 6l behind Tartak (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs.
Consigliere (FR) 9-1 (11-6) Mid-division, lost place 7th, behind from 4 out, 11th of 13, 43l behind Woolcombe Folly (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs (2) gs in Dec.
Prince De Beauchene (FR) 13-2 (11-7) Held up mid-division, headway after 6 out, kept on same pace when hit last, no impression, 5th of 15, 21l behind Mount Oscar (10-11) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Nov.
Rivaliste (FR) 11-4fav (11-11) Chased leading trio until 4th, 5th and well there when fell 6th, in a race won by Aigle D'or (11-3) at Newbury 2m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Nov, 10 ran.
Fine Parchment (IRE) 17-2 (11-2) Chased leaders, left 3rd 4 out, led 3 out, drew clear 2 out, ridden and stayed on strongly flat, easily, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f cond hcp chs (4yo+) (3) gd in Dec beating Safari Adventures (11-9) by 9l, 17 ran.
Nozic (FR) 40-1 (11-12) Headway to press leader 3rd, led 8th, hit and headed 12th, ridden 15th, lost place when hampered 17th, soon weakened, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by West End Rocker (11-11) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Dec, 13 ran.
Chance du Roy (FR) 7-1 (11-12) Mid-division, dropped towards rear 6th, headway 11th, went 3rd 2 out, kept on same pace, no chance with leading pair, 3rd of 15, 14l behind Only Vintage (10-11) at Folkestone 2m 5f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Dec.
Chief Yeoman 33-1 (10-8) Held up towards rear, headway to chase leaders after 5 out, weakened approaching last, 6th of 13, 25l behind Any Given Day (10-8) at Chepstow 2m 4f Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Oct.
Nikola (FR) 20-1 (11-2) Mid-division, steady headway and in touch 14th, went 2nd last, soon ridden, kept on, no impression with winner flat, just held on for 2nd, 2nd of 16, 5l behind Frankie Figg (11-5) at Aintree 2m 5f hcp chs (2) gs in Nov.
Karanja 25-1 (10-13) Raced wide, chased leading pair until before 4 out, soon outpaced, beaten when hit 2 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Superior Wisdom (10-8) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Nov, 8 ran.
Or Bleu (FR) 28-1 (11-7) Tracked leader until 4th, lost place 6th, weakened from 5 out, last of 5, 16l behind Royal Charm (11-0) at Exeter 2m 1f grad ch (2) gs in Dec.
Smack That (IRE) 40-1 (11-4) Held up in rear but in touch, under pressure 3 out, soon ridden, left in remote 3rd 2 out, 3rd of 5, 29l behind Tullamore Dew (11-4) at Plumpton 2m 1f nov chs (3) gs.