Another tough puzzle to solve but we like the look of ROUGHAM over this track and trip. An habitual front-runner, the six-year-old has his ground for the first time in a while and is now only 2lb higher than when making all over a similar distance at Ascot a year ago. Holmwood Legend was successful at The Festival last year and his campaign is probably being tailored towards a return visit to Cheltenham in March, while Fistral Beach may be too high in the weights now. Chariot Charger and Micheal Flips are decent novices but this could be too sharp for the former and the latter's jumping still looks suspect under pressure. Ludlow runner-up Get It On may be best of the rest as this looks too tough for Mister Stickler and The Cockney Mackem.
Holmwood Legend 7-2 (10-13) Led, mistake 7th, not fluent and headed 3 out, stumbled badly on bend soon after, weakened approaching 2 out, 3rd of 9, 41l behind Harry Topper (11-12) at Wincanton 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) sft.
Fistral Beach (IRE) 10-3fav (11-12) Blundered 1st, held up, headway 5th, lost place when hit 10th, went left and mistake 12th, pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Chance Du Roy (11-4) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Nov, 14 ran.
Chariot Charger (IRE) 5-1 (11-3) Made all, ridden after last, held on well towards finish, won at Uttoxeter 3m beg chs (5) gs in Nov beating Universal Soldier (11-3) by 1l, 10 ran.
Micheal Flips (IRE) 10-1 (9-7) Tracked leaders, lost place approaching 8th, hit 10th, not fluent 12th, no impression when pecked 4 out, 7th of 14, 26l behind Calgary Bay (10-4) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs.
Passato (GER) 16-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, mistke 6th, led 8th, headed 10th, soon lost place, 4th of 10, 7l behind King Edmund (11-7) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Dec.
Nomecheki (FR) 22-1 (10-13) Took keen hold early stages, held up in 6th, headway approaching 4 out, stayed on from 2 out, disputing 3rd last, weakened flat, 4th of 9, 11l behind Hold Fast (11-0) at Sandown 2m hcp chs (2) gs.
Rougham 15-2 (11-4) Chased clear leader, closed 6th, led after 10th, headed 13th, weakened 3 out, 4th of 7, 37l behind Consigliere (11-5) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft.
Get It On (IRE) 13-2 (11-1) Held up towards rear, headway before 4 out, ridden before 2 out, chased winner from flat, no impression, 2nd of 7, 4 1/2l behind Falcon Island (10-8) at Ludlow 2m Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) gd in Dec.
Mister Stickler (IRE) 9-2fav (11-4) Held up in rear, headway from 8th, went 2nd 3 out until next, weakened approaching last, 6th of 9, 22l behind Storm Surge (9-7) at Haydock 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Dec.
Oumeyade (FR) 100-1 (11-0) Raced wide, took keen hold, tracked leading trio, headway to chase winner approaching 5th until next, mistake and weakened 7th, soon behind and no chance, tailed off, last of 6, 45l behind Finian's Rainbow (11-5) at Kempton 2m Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Dec.
The Cockney Mackem (IRE) 3-1fav (10-10) Tracked leaders, left 2nd from 4th, mistake 7th, led 4 out, ridden and headed 2 out, lost 2nd from last, one pace, 3rd of 7, 7l behind Falcon Island (10-8) at Ludlow 2m Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) gd in Dec.