Mr Muddle wasn't winning out of turn in lesser company at Folkestone 11 days ago and First Fandango is unbeaten so far over timber but both will probably struggle here. Maoi Chinn Tire had his limitations exposed in this grade at Cheltenham last month, while C&D winner Kazzene didn't jump very well when only third at Ffos Las three weeks ago. Tonic Mellysse's victory at Pau in December has been franked, however, and he should go well on his UK debut but there was a lot to like about KUMBESHWAR's third to Houblon Des Obeaux at Haydock last week and he can get back to winning ways here if a third race this month doesn't take its toll.
Maoi Chinn Tire (IRE) 9-1 (11-7) Held up in last pair, headway to 4th before 2 out, weakened soon after, disputing well held 5th when mistake last, 6th of 7, 25l behind Local Hero (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 2 (1) gs in Jan.
Tonic Mellysse (FR) (10-1) won at Pau(FR) 2m 1f hdl in Dec beating Tigre D'aron (10-1) by 1l, 18 ran.
First Fandango 5-4fav (10-12) Tracked leading pair, ridden and outpaced approaching 3 out, went 2nd before next, soon challenged, stayed on under pressure to lead narrowly towards finish, just held on, won at Ayr 2m 4yo hdl (4) gd in Jan beating Vosges (10-9) by hd, 11 ran.
Kazzene (USA) 7-2 (11-0) Soon in touch, mistake 3 out, ridden to chase winner next, mistake last, lost 2nd flat, no extra, 3rd of 8, 11l behind Sprinter Sacre (11-3) at Ffos Las 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs.
Kumbeshwar 13-2 (11-3) Held up in rear, in touch, effort before 3 out, ridden before next, kept on same pace, 3rd of 5, 6l behind Houblon Des Obeaux (11-6) at Haydock 2m 4yo hdl (2) hvy.
Mr Muddle 13-8fav (10-7) Led until narrowly headed before 4th, led again 3 out, came clear on long run to last, easily, won at Folkestone 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) sft beating Promised Wings (10-7) by 5l, 9 ran.
Aikideau (FR) (10-1) 4th of 18, 8l behind Tonic Mellysse (10-1) at Pau(FR) 2m 1f hdl in Dec.
Lava Lamp (GER) 4-1fav (8-12) In touch, ridden 5f out, headway to chase winner 2f out, driven to challenge 1f out, gaining on winner near finish, just held, 2nd of 8, hd behind Dan Buoy (8-12) at Pontefract 2m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gd in Oct (flat).
Molotof (FR) (10-5) 2nd of 13, 8l behind Kauto Sweety (10-3) at Pau(FR) 2m 1f hdl sft in Jan.
Zarkandar (IRE) (9-4) 3rd of 7, 1l behind Orluna (8-13) at Deauville(FR) 1m 7f stk gs in Aug (flat).