THE FERBANE MAN gets the vote here to see off King Ar Aghaidh, Pheidias and Earth Magic. The last-named has previously kept high-class company over hurdles, particularly in Ireland, and he has now slipped in the ratings to a mark of 124. There are concerns over the ground for him, but stamina is no problem and he could go very well on his second start for Evan Williams. Pheidias has a good ground course and distance win to his name and also ran well when trying to follow-up last time at Southwell. Those supporting him will probably get a good run for their money, but may find him chasing home The Ferbane Man. Tim Vaughan's six-year-old was a fast ground winner over 2m 4f at Towcester last time, on just his second chase outing. He has already proved his stamina well beyond this trip and he has the sort of profile of an improver for his trainer, who is notorious in that regard. King Ar Aghaidh acts on good ground but is as yet unproven on a faster surface. He stays well and comes here in form and also with further improvement in him, so he can provide the biggest danger to our pick The Ferbane Man.
King Ar Aghaidh (IRE) 7-4fav (10-12) Chased leaders, went close 2nd when slightly hampered and hit 4 out, led next, mistake 2 out, driven out, won at Exeter 2m 3f nov chs (4) gd in Apr beating Alaghiraar (10-12) by 2l, 7 ran.
Pheidias (IRE) 9-2 (11-4) Tracked leaders, pushed along approaching 9th and behind, headway approaching 3 out, went 2nd at last, kept on towards finish, 2nd of 5, 3 1/2l behind Prince Taime (10-12) at Southwell 2m 4f nov chs (3) gd in Apr.
The Ferbane Man (IRE) Evensfav (10-9) Tracked leader, led 2nd, made rest, ridden and hard pressed when edged left approaching last, rallied flat, just held on, won at Towcester 2m 3f beg chase (4) gf in Apr beating Lonesome Boatman (10-11) by 1/2l, 5 ran.
Delgany Run 16-1 (10-9) Chased leaders, lost touch before 10th, tailed off before 4 out, mistake next, soon pulled up, in a race won by Masked Man (11-4) at Kempton 2m 4f nov chs (3) gd in Apr, 3 ran.
Earth Magic (IRE) 80-1 (11-7) Mid-division on inside, weakened 3 out, 19th of 24, 49l behind Pause And Clause (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hcp (2) sft in Mar.
Sparrow Hills (IRE) 9-1 (11-0) Held up, pushed along 8th, soon struggling, tailed off, 5th of 6, well behind Edgbriar (10-11) at Doncaster 2m 3f beg chs (4) gd in Dec.