Aerial has finished ahead of several of today's rivals at Cheltenham and Ascot this season but his latest fourth at the former venue suggests he's in the handicapper's grip now and Paul Nicholls may have a better chance of success with Pasco. Runner-up in this Grade 3 two years ago, the nine-year-old is a couple of pounds lower now and may well have been trained with this race in mind. Along with Dave's Dream, FINE PARCHMENT was one of those behind Aerial in the Paddy Power in November but he now enjoys a massive 16lb turnaround in the weights and that's without taking into account promising claimer Gavin Sheehan's 10lb allowance. Only 3lb higher than when jumping his rivals silly here 12 months ago, Charlie Mann's gelding could be poised for a repeat. The step up in trip may suit the once-promising Dan Breen and he could reward each-way support while Fix The Rib is also worth a second look.
Woolcombe Folly (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) In touch on outside, dropped to mid-division 5th, lost place 9th, soon struggling, no danger after, 7th of 10, 29l behind The Giant Bolster (10-3) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Jan.
Mad Max (IRE) 4-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders on inside, effort 4 out, outpaced next, soon beaten, plugged on to go moderate 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 6, 22l behind Giorgio Quercus (11-7) at Haydock 2m 5f grd chs (5yo+) (2) hvy in Jan.
Aerial (FR) 5-2fav (10-10) Tracked leaders, 3rd and outpaced after 3 out, kept on same pace from next, no chance with leading pair when lost 3rd towards finish, 4th of 10, 22l behind The Giant Bolster (10-3) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Jan.
Crescent Island (IRE) 50-1 (10-4) Reluctant and soon detached in rear, soon tailed off, pulled up 11th, in a race won by Massini's Maguire (10-13) at Ascot 3m hcp chs Listed (1) gs in Feb, 12 ran.
Dave's Dream (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, never really travelled, not keen on paddock bend after 2nd, modest 7th 2 out, never a factor, 7th of 9, 21l behind Hold Fast (11-0) at Sandown 2m hcp chs (2) gs in Jan.
Dan Breen (IRE) 7-1 (11-9) Mid-division, weakened 4 out, 9th of 10, 35l behind Quicuyo (11-0) at Doncaster 2m hcp chs (2) gs in Jan.
Araldur (FR) 13-2 (10-1) Held up towards rear, headway on outside 9th, hit 13th, outpaced 4 out, soon beaten, 6th of 10, 27l behind The Giant Bolster (10-3) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Jan.
Pasco (SWI) 6-1 (11-12) Held up in 5th, headway 10th, chased winner after 13th, no impression before 3 out, lost 2nd going to next, weakened last, 3rd of 7, 33l behind Consigliere (11-5) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Jan.
Passato (GER) 10-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, lost place 4 out, no impression from next, 5th of 11, 19l behind Micheal Flips (11-4) at Taunton 2m 3f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Jan.
Pickamus (FR) 66-1 (9-7) Led, pecked 4 out, headed after 3 out, weakened flat, 6th of 14, 12l behind Calgary Bay (10-4) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Jan.
Fix The Rib (IRE) 16-1 (11-11) Led, driven and headed narrowly 3 out, soon ridden, every chance next, no extra before last, 3rd of 14, 12l behind Cruchain (10-9) at Kempton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jan.
Fine Parchment (IRE) 14-1 (11-7) Chased leaders, outpaced 4 out, no impression from next, 5th of 14, 23l behind Cruchain (10-9) at Kempton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jan.
Rileyev (FR) 8-1 (11-5) Held up behind, outpaced after 7th, headway under pressure 5 out, outpaced in 4th next, kept on same pace, no chance with leaders, 4th of 9, 21l behind Oh Crick (11-12) at Chepstow 2m hcp chs (2) sft in Feb.