Funny Star ran well on his fencing bow at Exeter but was readily outpaced at Plumpton next time. He may have a bit to prove now and Bar De Ligne sets a decent standard, especially on good ground. He possibly found 2m6f a shade too far at Market Rasen last time and his defeat of Grandads Horse at the same track in the summer has worked out well. ERICHT ended up over 3m at Aintree in the spring but had the pace to win a couple of bumpers earlier in his career and this is more his trip. Nicky Henderson will have him well prepared and he can make a winning start over fences. Carli King looks best of the rest.
Bar De Ligne (FR) 13-2 (10-9) Led, ridden when headed 3 out, plugging on same pace when mistake last, 2nd of 7, 27l behind Gullinbursti (11-1) at Market Rasen 2m 6f (3) sft.
Akula (IRE) 14-1 (11-3) Led, headed after 4th, reminders after 8th, weakened before 5 out, 5th of 8, 32l behind Zarzal (11-11) at Ludlow 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs.
Big George 50-1 (11-1) Mid-division, lost place 6th, tailed off when pulled up before 12th, in a race won by Green Flag (11-4) at Kelso 2m 7f nov chs (4) gs in Oct, 10 ran.
Carli King (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, lost touch 5th, 3rd of 5, 47l behind Valco De Touzaine (11-0) at Leicester 2m nov chs (3) gf.
Ericht (IRE) 14-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, weakened after 2 out, 9th of 21, 26l behind Battle Group (10-9) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Apr.
Funny Star 2-1 (11-1) Tracked leader until 3rd, went 2nd again 9th, ridden and no chance with winner after 3 out, kept on for clear 2nd, 2nd of 5, 17l behind Uxizandre (11-8) at Plumpton 2m 4f nov chs (3) gs.