Cheltenian won the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2011 and may well be a high-class recruit to hurdling. However, it's asking a lot of the seven-year-old to make a winning reappearance after two years on the sidelines. MINELLA FORFITNESS kept on well to beat useful Flat performers Zuider Zee and Aaim To Prosper over 2m4f here last time but there's just a danger he'll find a drop in distance against him. He looks a progressive sort, however, so gets the nod getting 4lb from the more exposed Valdez. New Year's Eve was an expensive failure at Ludlow two weeks ago and hasn't yet lived up to a tall reputation so far while the selection's stable companion Snake Eyes was long odds-on when only second at Kempton and needs more.
Valdez 1-2fav (11-11) Took keen hold tracking leaders, tracked leading pair 3rd, led next, clear when hit 6th, stayed on well, easily, won at Plumpton 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan beating Asker (11-5) by 10l, 12 ran.
Minella Forfitness (IRE) 11-4fav (11-4) In touch and keen, chased leaders 4 out, went 3rd 3 out, ridden to lead last, kept on well, won at Doncaster 2m 3f mdn hdl (5) gd beating Zuider Zee (11-4) by 2l, 21 ran.
Benefit Cut (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Mistake 2nd always in rear, struggling 4 out, tailed off, 10th of 12, 44l behind Uxizandre (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) sft in Dec.
Catching On (IRE) 10-11fav (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway after 4 out, went 3rd before 3 out, weakened quickly and not fluent last, soon pulled up, in a race won by Malapie (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec, 11 ran.
Cheltenian (FR) 14-1 (11-5) In touch on inside, driven and headway over 3f out, soon challenged, led well over 1f out, ridden and stayed on well to go clear final furlong, won at Cheltenham 2m N H flat G1 (1) gd in Mar '11 beating Destroyer Deployed (11-5) by 5l, 24 ran.
Credit For Life (IRE) 50-1 (11-3) Gifted clear lead, headed before 3 out, mistake at hurdle, soon weakened, 8th of 16, 25l behind Ptit Zig (10-7) at Ludlow 2m NH mdn hdl (4) sft.
Highlander Ted 100-1 (10-12) Always towards rear, weakened after 4 out, tailed off, 8th of 11, well behind Seebright (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 6f nov hdl (4) sft.
Lord Navits (IRE) 7-4fav (11-2) Led 3f, led again 10f out, ridden and headed 5f out, weakened over 3f out, 10th of 15, 39l behind Big Casino (11-2) at Ludlow 2m NH flat (5) gd in Nov.
New Year's Eve 2-7fav (11-3) Prominent in chasing group, went 2nd from 2nd, challenged 3 out, mistake 2 out, soon ridden, switched left on landing last, hung left, no impression on winner final 150 yards, 2nd of 16, 6l behind Ptit Zig (10-7) at Ludlow 2m NH mdn hdl (4) sft.
Piano Concerto (USA) 6-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, went 2nd before 4 out, weakened before 2 out, 8th of 11, well behind Minella Definitely (10-12) at Kempton 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) sft in Nov.
Snake Eyes (IRE) 1-5fav (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, not much room on inner before 2 out, led last, kept on and headed towards finish, 2nd of 11, nk behind Minella Definitely (10-12) at Kempton 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) sft in Nov.
Ut Majeur Aulmes (FR) 12-1 (11-4) In rear, headway over 2f out, one pace, 9th of 12, 7l behind Keep Kicking (11-4) at Kempton 2m n h flat (5) std in Jan.