With four last-time winners in opposition, this is no easy task for the hat-trick-seeking Emperor's Choice off a 7lb higher mark. It was also heavy ground when he won at Taunton and Carlisle however. Alderluck came right back to form over an even longer trip at Bangor recently while Camden had 14 lengths to spare over Orange Nassau over 3m here last month and should have no trouble confirming that form. PREUTY BOY was beaten a length by Ringa Bay over 2m4f here on his penultimate start and is 7lb worse off now. But he stepped up markedly on that when put over 3m here next time and can turn the form around with his old rival over this extra half-mile. Monsieur Cadou lacks a recent run but, like Big Occasion and Ten Fires, can't be ignored.
Alderluck (IRE) 15-2 (11-5) Held up in mid-division, mistake 12th, headway when mistake next, went 2nd after 3 out, led next, not fluent last, stayed on, won at Bangor 3m 6f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy beating Nodebateaboutit (11-3) by 2 1/2l, 15 ran.
Camden (IRE) 3-1 (11-7) Pressed leader, led narrowly 12th, in command bypassing omitted 2 out, soon drew well clear, easily, won at Lingfield 3m nov chs (4) hvy in Jan beating Orange Nassau (11-0) by 14l, 5 ran.
Emperor's Choice (IRE) 15-8fav (11-1) Close up, chased leader 12th, ridden 4 out, headway approaching last, driven and stayed on to lead final strides, won at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy beating Sydney Paget (11-12) by 1/2l, 10 ran.
Big Occasion (IRE) 4-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, awkward 2nd, hampered and dropped rear 5th, closed 9th, mistake 11th, ridden 4 out, went 3rd last, stayed on, 3rd of 7, 2l behind Rhum (11-9) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Jan.
Ringa Bay 6-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, mistake 12th, ridden and some progress next, weakened 15th, 8th of 10, well behind Goring One (10-9) at Sandown 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd.
Preuty Boy (FR) 5-2 (10-10) Raced wide, held up in 4th, left close 3rd at 10th, went 2nd after 14th, led 2 out (normal 3 out), came clear from last, easily, won at Lingfield 3m nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy beating Rydalis (11-12) by 13l, 4 ran.
Monsieur Cadou (FR) 12-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, headway 16th, led before last, ridden run-in, kept on gamely, won at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Nov beating Jaunty Journey (10-5) by 1/2l, 15 ran.
Ten Fires (GER) 8-1 (11-6) Prominent, ridden approaching 12th, lost place before 13th and pulled up, in a race won by Alderluck (11-5) at Bangor 3m 6f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy, 15 ran.
Orange Nassau (FR) 5-4fav (11-12) Led until 1st, tracked winner until 8th, reminder 11th, weakened 5 out, pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Material Boy (11-3) at Ffos Las 3m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy, 7 ran.