Cork winner Fasolo faces no easy task under his penalty and just as interesting is the mare Elegant Touch. She beat subsequent hurdles winner Aneyeforaneye at Haydock in November and is open to plenty of improvement. Jojabean was quite highly tried on his debut at Cheltenham, while Go Set Go was only beaten a length when third at Fontwell in October and is another to consider. Nicky Henderson's DARK SHADOW is closely related to winners on the Flat and over jumps, however, and is fancied to make a winning start, though the booking of Jason Maguire for fellow newcomer Smart Ruler also catches the eye.
Fasolo (GER) 3-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, 5th halfway, headway on outer to challenge entering straight, ridden to lead over 1f out and soon asserted, kept on well under pressure inside final furlong, won at Cork 2m N H flat sft in Jan beating Really Unique (11-7) by 1 1/2l, 10 ran.
Cody Wyoming 12-1 (11-4) Took keen hold, held up in rear, always behind, 8th of 9, 36l behind Ballytober (11-4) at Ffos Las 2m NH flat (5) sft in Jan.
Elegant Touch (IRE) 8-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway on outer over 6f out, chased leaders over 4f out, led approaching final furlong, stayed on well, won at Haydock 2m N H flat (6) gd in Nov beating Aneyeforaneye (10-12) by 5l, 15 ran.
Skarloey Alflora gelding out of Stonebridge Rose.
Slightly Hot Kayf Tara gelding out of Ginger Rogers.
Smart Ruler (IRE) Viking Ruler gelding out of Celebrated Smile.
Night Rose 11-2 (10-7) Took keen hold, in mid-division, weakened 4f out, 8th of 13, 11l behind Tanzanite Bay (10-13) at Cheltenham 2m 1f N H flat (4) gd in Apr.
Dark Shadow Royal Applause gelding out of Royal York.
Dawn Auction (IRE) Auction House gelding out of Isle Of Sodor.
Ellis 200-1 (10-5) Soon well behind, tailed off, 9th of 13, 41l behind Zama Zama (10-7) at Warwick 1m 6f 3yo nhf (5) gs in Nov.
General Melchett (IRE) Broadway Flyer gelding out of Kept In The Dark.
Go Set Go 15-2 (10-12) Held up in last trio, steady headway 4f out, stayed on to 3rd inside final 2f, kept on under pressure inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 1l behind Cinders And Ashes (10-9) at Fontwell 1m 6f 3yo nhf (6) gs in Oct.
Jojabean (IRE) 12-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, pushed along over 3f out, never on terms, weakened over 1f out, 11th of 16, 23l behind Keys (11-2) at Cheltenham 1m 6f 4yo NH flat (Listed) (1) gs in Jan.
Theatre Guide (IRE) King's Theatre gelding out of Erintante.
What A Warrior (IRE) 18-1 (10-9) Mid-division, headway 8f out, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 16, 21l behind Keys (11-2) at Cheltenham 1m 6f 4yo NH flat (Listed) (1) gs in Jan.
Sharinga 25-1 (9-7) Tracked leaders, pushed along 7f out, weakened 4f out, last of 10, well behind Russe Blanc (10-7) at Warwick 2m nhf (6) hvy in Jan.