Only three runners in this but it could still prove an informative race. Grandioso made a winning start over fences over C&D last month but was inferior to today's rivals over hurdles. The Druids Nephew has already shown promise over fences, only going by a nose at Ascot before finishing third at Kempton, but we'll take TONY STAR to complete a quick double for Philip Hobbs and Tom O'Brien. He was plunged in at the deep end over fences behind Houblon Des Obeaux in a Grade 2 here in November but acquitted himself well and that experience won't have been lost on the six-year-old.
Grandioso (IRE) 7-2 (11-0) Mistake 1st, held up in 5th, headway to track leader from 11th, challenged and bumped 3 out, led next, driven out, won at Wincanton 2m 5f beg chs (3) sft in Dec beating Coole River (11-0) by 2 1/4l, 8 ran.
The Druids Nephew (IRE) 13-8fav (11-2) Led, jumped left 7th, mistake 13th, headed 2 out, one pace, 3rd of 7, 6l behind So Fine (11-2) at Kempton 3m beg chs (4) sft in Nov.
Tony Star (FR) 12-1 (11-2) Held up, headway 3rd, challenged 10th, 3rd when not fluent 4 out, not fluent 3 out, no extra flat, 4th of 8, 10l behind Houblon Des Obeaux (11-6) at Wincanton 2m 5f nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov.