PTIT ZIG had the highly regarded Un Temps Pour Tout, engaged in the previous race, back in third when landing a Grade 1 hurdle at Auteuil in November. He's since run really well carrying top weight in the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot and should have enough to keep Melodic Rendezvous at bay in this. The latter couldn't live with My Tent Or Yours in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle last time but revels in this more testing ground and looks a genuine threat. The remainder have some catching up to do to match the principals, but Act Of Kalinisi is an improving handicapper and Ifandbutwhynot landed a Listed handicap at Newbury before finding the progressive Strongpoint too good at Musselburgh.
Ptit Zig (FR) 16-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, went 2nd and every chance 2 out, driven between last 2, well held before last, stayed on for clear 2nd, 2nd of 20, 4l behind Willow's Saviour (10-5) at Ascot 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Dec.
Ifandbutwhynot (IRE) 13-2 (11-11) Held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, went 3rd before last, kept on to chase winner run-in, always held 4 always towards rear, 2nd of 14, 4l behind Strongpoint (11-2) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl (2) sft.
Melodic Rendezvous 5-2 (11-7) Mid-division, headway after 4 out, outpaced after next, kept on same pace under pressure from 2 out, never reached leaders, 5th of 8, 7l behind My Tent Or Yours (11-7) at Newcastle 2m hdl G1 (1) gd in Nov.
Act Of Kalanisi (IRE) 7-4fav (11-12) Made all, jumped right and not fluent 4th, clear approaching 2 out, mistake last, ridden out, won at Leicester 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec beating Headly's Bridge (11-2) by 8l, 8 ran.
Jumps Road 100-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, staying on and trying to press for 2nd when hampered approaching last, soon switched left and unable to quicken, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 7, 12l behind The New One (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hdl G2 (1) gd in Dec.
Morning Royalty (IRE) 5-1 (10-13) Led, challenged when hit 2 out, soon headed, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 5, 5l behind Special Catch (10-12) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) sft in Dec.