Eastlake came back to form when beating Rouge Et Blanc at Ascot last month while Rody arrives off the back of a win over the same horse at Wincanton on Boxing Day. Both have shot up the weights, however, while Kapga De Cerisy and Jumps Road failed to justify favouritism last time though the pair still have some scope. GEORGE NYMPTON has won both starts over C&D and Noel Fehily, on board for both victories, is in the saddle again. This appears to be his trip and he can go in again, though The Chazer is proving reliable and El Lobo will almost certainly improve on his comeback run at Ascot.
Rody (FR) 15-8 (11-1) Tracked leader, every chance when mistake 2 out, led last, ran on, won at Wincanton 2m hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec beating Rouge Et Blanc (9-9) by 4l, 4 ran.
Eastlake (IRE) 9-1 (11-10) Led, headed after 3rd, led again 6th, hard driven when jumped left last, stayed on well, won at Ascot 2m 1f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Dec beating Rouge Et Blanc (10-3) by 1 1/2l, 8 ran.
Kapga De Cerisy (FR) 5-2fav (11-0) Held up in touch in mid-division, closed 8th, ridden and disputing 7 lengths 5th when fell 3 out, in a race won by Ackertac (11-11) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Nov, 10 ran.
The Chazer (IRE) 9-2 (11-9) Held up in touch, headway 5 out, chased winner and effort when mistake next, no impression from 2 out, lost 2nd towards finish, 3rd of 7, 5l behind Drumshambo (11-12) at Ludlow 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
George Nympton (IRE) 3-1fav (11-7) Tracked leaders, jumped left at times, led after 3 out, stayed on well, won at Warwick 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec beating Kykate (11-5) by 3 1/2l, 7 ran.
El Lobo (FR) 15-2 (10-13) Held up, not fluent 1st, ridden and stayed on to dispute well held 4th approaching 2 out, no impression, 5th of 7, 23l behind Ulck Du Lin (11-5) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs 0-140 (3) hvy in Dec.
Jumps Road 7-4fav (11-9) Chased leaders, slow 4th, challenging when not fluent 3 out, weakened after last, 5th of 8, 19l behind Eastlake (11-10) at Ascot 2m 1f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Dec.
Take Of Shoc's (IRE) 33-1 (11-2) Close up on outside, lost place after 8th, soon behind, tailed off when pulled up before 11th, in a race won by No Secrets (11-4) at Taunton 2m 7f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec, 8 ran.