Rydalis couldn't complete the hat-trick at Lingfield earlier this month and this is a much better race. DE LA BECH gave weight and a beating to Okafranca over hurdles at Ascot in December but has always looked like a chaser in the making and has already won between the flags. He may well to be the one to beat if handling the transition, though Henry Daly continues to place Safran De Cotte to good effect and he had High Ho Sheriff behind when getting back to winning ways at Leicester. Both Firebird Flyer and Global Power have already won over the larger obstacles and neither can be ignored as they'll handle the ground.
De La Bech 7-1 (10-9) Led, jumped right 6th, headed next, lost place before 9th, 13th of 18, 50l behind Ely Brown (11-0) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) sft in Jan.
Firebird Flyer (IRE) 13-2 (11-12) Pecked 1st, held up in rear but in touch, mistake 4th, not fluent 8th, outpaced in 5th place at 10th, kept on flat, almost snatched poor 4th, 5th of 6, 29l behind Simply Wings (11-3) at Plumpton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Global Power (IRE) 9-4fav (11-12) Chased leaders, ridden after 4 out, weakened after next, 3rd of 5, well behind Monkerty Tunkerty (11-11) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Dec.
High Ho Sheriff (IRE) 13-2 (11-0) Prominent, challenged 5th, not fluent 9th, mistake 12th, ridden after next, led 2 out, headed approaching last, no impression on front pair final 100 yards, 3rd of 6, 4 1/2l behind Safran De Cotte (10-11) at Leicester 2m 7f nov chs 0-125 (4) hvy in Jan.
Okafranca (IRE) 16-1 (11-7) Held up mid-division, effort 2 out, no headway, 6th of 15, 11l behind Dream Again Boys (11-7) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) hvy.
Safran De Cotte (FR) 7-4fav (10-11) Prominent, led 3rd, headed 2 out, led again before last, edged left flat, pressed final 100 yards, held on gamely, won at Leicester 2m 7f nov chs 0-125 (4) hvy in Jan beating Abnaki (11-0) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
Rydalis (FR) 6-4fav (11-12) Chased leading pair, left close 2nd at 10th, pushed along and lost 2nd after 14th, ridden before next (normal 3 out) stayed on same pace and went 2nd bypassing omitted 2 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 4, 13l behind Preuty Boy (10-10) at Lingfield 3m nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy.