It could prove best to stick with top weight CAPTAIN TIDDS. He finally returned to winning ways at Lingfield last month and, despite a 9lb higher mark, Richard Phillips' charge can go in again as he has little to fear form today's modest opposition. Course regular Ballyman was placed over these fences once again a fortnight ago but the handicapper refuses to relent while Tchang Goon was still beaten nine lengths when runner-up last time and Wishes Or Watches remains badly out of sorts.
Captain Tidds (IRE) 15-8 (11-8) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd 4 out, led before 2 out, in command when went left 2 out and last, very easily, won at Lingfield 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Nov beating Pocket Aces (11-9) by 5l, 4 ran.
Ballyman (IRE) 15-8fav (10-6) Led, headed 4th, chased leader, led again 5th until next, lost 2nd before 9th, soon ridden and outpaced in 3rd, rallied to 2nd before last, no impression on winner, 2nd of 4, 6l behind Inthejungle (11-8) at Plumpton 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) sft.
Wishes Or Watches (IRE) 33-1 (9-7) In touch, ridden and no chance from 4 out, kept on flat, 4th of 6, 17l behind Farewellatmidnight (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gs in Nov.
Tchang Goon (FR) 8-1 (9-9) Held up, mistake 1st, headway 9th, disputing close 3rd when hit 2 out and left 2nd, beaten when hit last, 2nd of 6, 9l behind Thedreamstillalive (11-0) at Folkestone 2m 5f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd in Nov.