Vintage Star sets a fair standard here on his easy victory over this trip at Catterick but is conceding weight to a couple of novices who are likely to improve now tackling fences. Alpha Victor has already won twice over hurdles this season and stays well but RUBEN COTTER probably has more scope. Paul Nicholls has wasted no time putting his winning pointer over the larger obstacles after just one outing over timber this term. That run, in November, should have blown any cobwebs and this looks within his range. Netminder appears to be making progress over fences judged on his latest second at Ayr but Humphrey Bee fell on his debut under Rules in October and hasn't been seen since.
Vintage Star (IRE) 4-6fav (11-0) Jumped well, with leader, led 12th, clear after 4 out, blundered 2 out, kept on well, won at Catterick 3m 1f nov chs 0-125 (4) sft in Jan beating King's Grace (11-0) by 28l, 5 ran.
Alpha Victor (IRE) 25-1 (11-5) Held up in mid-division, ridden after 5th, struggling 8th, 10th of 18, 29l behind Ely Brown (11-0) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) sft in Jan.
Ballymurry (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders and keen, lost place before 3 out, last of 7, 13l behind Alberobello (11-0) at Chepstow 3m mdn hdl (5) hvy in Jan.
Humphrey Bee (IRE) 28-1 (10-9) Prominent, lost place after 10th, well beaten 6th when crashing fall 3 out, in a race won by Houblon Des Obeaux (11-0) at Worcester 2m 7f nov chs (4) gs in Oct, 10 ran.
Netminder (IRE) 8-1 (11-0) Led, not fluent 13th, mistake next, headed 2 out, held last, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 6, 4l behind Real Milan (11-7) at Ayr 3m 1f nov chs (4) hvy in Jan.
Ruben Cotter (IRE) 4-1fav (11-3) Mid-division, headway 4 out, chased leaders next, soon outpaced, weakened from last, 9th of 18, 30l behind Double Ross (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) sft in Nov.