Guess Again, a winner over hurdles at Hexham for Ferdy Murphy, was always likely to do better over fences and will be better for his first run for David Pipe over timber here last month. He looks better than stablemate Franklin Roosevelt at this stage and is definitely on the short-list. Emperor's Choice is very consistent and its hard to see him out of the frame. He jumps well and stays on stoutly but may not have the scope to cope with SHUIL ROYALE. Potential punters will need to forgive his last fence fall at Ascot where he would have finished runner-up to Minella Class with a couple of useful performers behind at the time. Twice a winner over hurdles and in bumpers, he has the quality to do better if getting round safely. None of the remainder can be completely discounted in what could be an informative event.
Di Kaprio (FR) 25-1 (11-4) Led, clear after 2nd until 8th, blundered and headed 10th, chased winner until after 13th, weakened before next, 5th of 6, 40l behind Masters Hill (11-4) at Chepstow 3m nov chs (4) gs in Oct.
Emperor's Choice (IRE) 9-2 (11-7) Took keen hold, chased leaders, went 2nd 3 out, kept on under pressure flat, always held, 2nd of 11, 2l behind Arbeo (10-10) at Newbury 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Dec.
Forgive Intrusion (IRE) 20-1 (10-13) Prominent to halfway, struggling 9th, tailed off, 5th of 7, well behind Rolling Aces (11-6) at Wincanton 2m 5f nov chs (3) hvy in Dec.
Franklin Roosevelt (IRE) 5-2fav (11-9) Held up in mid-division, ridden in 7th after 3 out, stayed on to chase leaders next, led briefly between last 2, chased winner after, no extra approaching last, 2nd of 12, 11l behind Seymour Eric (10-11) at Hereford 3m 2f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) hvy in Dec.
Fromthetop (IRE) 18-1 (10-12) Held up in touch, lost place 2nd, weakened before 3 out, tailed off, 9th of 12, well behind Midnight Appeal (10-12) at Hereford 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Guess Again (IRE) 9-2 (11-12) Chased leaders, led approaching 6th, ridden and headed before 2 out, no impression on winner, weakened to 3rd approaching last, 3rd of 16, 17l behind Duaiseoir (11-7) at Taunton 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Dec.
Shuil Royale (IRE) 9-1 (11-1) Held up in touch in last, not fluent 11th, closed from next, went 2nd 2 out, soon edged right, 2 lengths off winner and driven when fell last, in a race won by Minella Class (11-1) at Ascot 2m 5f beg chs (3) sft in Nov, 5 ran.