MARLENO was sent off favourite for his chasing debut at Stratford and was just getting into the race when falling. He's given a chance to make amends here. Hellfire Club scored over hurdles when last seen at the track in 2010 and is having his first start over fences, but Saddlers Deal is more experienced and won a chase at Catterick earlier this year off a 6lb lower mark. Tahiti Pearl has disappointed since August's win at Sedgefield and Warwick scorer That's The Deal is returning from over a year's lay-off.
Marleno (GER) 7-4fav (11-5) Held up in rear, blundered 2nd, fell 7th, in a race won by Wessex King (11-6) at Stratford 2m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gf in Oct, 6 ran.
Hellfire Club 11-4 (11-0) Always prominent, led 4 out, hit 2 out, ridden before last, kept on well flat, won at Ascot 2m 3f mdn hdl (4) gd in Apr '10 beating Meet The Critics (11-0) by 3 1/2l, 12 ran.
Saddlers Deal (IRE) 12-1 (10-13) Held up behind on outside, switched inside after 7th, headway 3 out, left 3rd next, ridden and stayed on to go 2nd before last, no impression with winner, 2nd of 9, 4 1/2l behind Restezen D'armor (11-12) at Bangor 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Sep.
Oscar Close (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Mid-division, headway on outside 11th, outpaced when pecked 4 out, no chance with leaders from next, 4th of 9, 27l behind Life Of A Luso (10-12) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gf in May.
That's The Deal (IRE) 5-1 (10-10) Held up tracking leading trio, smooth headway to chase leading pair 7th, led before 2 out, soon in command, eased towards finish, easily, won at Warwick 2m hcp chs 0-105 (4) gd in Nov '10 beating Corredor Sun (10-12) by 12l, 8 ran.
Tahiti Pearl (IRE) 9-1 (10-10) Raced in 6th, reminder after 4th, headway approaching next, every chance 4 out, no extra from 2 out, 3rd of 8, 14l behind Bhaltair (11-1) at Haydock 2m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Oct.
Laneguy (FR) 9-1 (11-3) Took keen hold, chased leaders, went 3rd 11th until approaching 5 out, soon ridden and weakened, 7th of 9, 42l behind Digital Media (9-11) at Chepstow 2m 3f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gd in Apr.