Persian Snow had little trouble dispatching No Buts over course and distance last time but is facing a much tougher task in this. Mr Moonshine is upped in class off a 7lb higher mark for scoring at Musselburgh last month, while those with the best previous form are all looking to get back on track. That includes Conquisto, well beaten in three starts since landing the Old Roan Chase on fast ground at Aintree in October. Drumshambo picked up a nice prize at Ascot in November but he's struggled on his last couple of outings so a speculative vote goes to MAJALA. Tom George's charge won the Grade 2 novices' chase on this card last year and a return to this venue may bring out the best in him again if he by-passes an alternative engagement at Newbury.
Conquisto 9-1 (11-12) Held up mid-division, mistake 7 out, soon weakened tailed off, 5th of 8, 36l behind Simply Ned (10-11) at Doncaster 2m hcp chs (2) gs in Jan.
Majala (FR) 9-1 (11-10) Prominent, led from 2nd, joined 5th, mistake and headed at next, ridden when mistake 5 out, no impression from 3 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Turban (11-2) at Fairyhouse 2m 1f sft in Jan, 13 ran.
Drumshambo (USA) 10-1 (11-12) Held up, jumped right and struggling 8th, went right and weakened 10th, soon pulled up, in a race won by Double Ross (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Jan, 7 ran.
Mr Moonshine (IRE) 4-1 (11-9) Tracked leader, led 5 out, ridden before 2 out, pressed last, kept on run-in, won at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Jan beating Viva Colonia (11-12) by 2 1/4l, 8 ran.
Mr Cracker (IRE) 33-1 (10-6) Led, headed 5 out and no extra after 3 out, well beaten when blundered next, completely tailed off, 18th of 22, well behind Carlingford Lough (10-7) at Galway 2m 6f hcp chs sft in Jul.
No Buts 6-4 (11-7) Led, ridden and joined 2 out, headed before last, beaten when eased final 100 yards, 2nd of 4, 8l behind Persian Snow (11-0) at Warwick 2m 4f nov chs (3) sft in Jan.
Persian Snow (IRE) 8-13fav (11-0) Tracked leader, not fluent 4 out, challenged 2 out, led before last, ridden clear final 100 yards, won at Warwick 2m 4f nov chs (3) sft in Jan beating No Buts (11-7) by 8l, 4 ran.
Rouge Et Blanc (FR) 11-1 (10-8) Held up in rear, hampered 7th, steady headway approaching 4 out, led 3 out, blundered next, hit last and headed, stayed on same pace flat, 2nd of 9, 3l behind Bennys Mist (11-5) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Jan.