Paul Nicholls is trying the five-year-old Grandioso over fences after he was easily brushed aside at Cheltenham on his reappearance. But this is no easy start with Heez A Cracker and Old Tricks sure to have learned plenty from debut runs at Wetherby and here respectively and Pericoloso a two-times hurdles winner already this season. RENARD D'IRLANDE was beaten 10 lengths by Majala at Taunton on his chasing bow but this extra half-mile should see him in a better light and he gets the nod, though a close eye should be kept on the returning Coole River as he won a couple of Grade 2 events over hurdles in 2010 for Jessica Harrington.
Coole River (IRE) 5-2 (11-10) Made all, ridden and strongly pressed from after 3 out, edged clear approaching last, stayed on well under pressure, won at Navan 2m nov hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb '10 beating Lucky William (11-5) by 3 1/2l, 6 ran.
Gandalfe (FR) 14-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders, mistake 3rd and 5th, blundered 9th, lost place next, behind when pulled up before 5 out, in a race won by Our Mick (11-8) at Kempton 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Dec '11, 13 ran.
Grandioso (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, taken wide when hit 5th, not fluent 7th, outpaced 3 out, weakened after next, 5th of 9, 27l behind The New One (11-3) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nh nov hdl (2) gs in Oct.
Heez A Cracker (FR) 5-4 (11-1) Tracked leaders, with leader 6th, led 4 out, clear before 3 out, well in command when fell 2 out, in a race won by Ulysse Collonges (11-0) at Wetherby 2m nov chs (4) gs in Nov, 4 ran.
Old Tricks (IRE) 25-1 (11-2) Mid-division, mistake 1st, not fluent when hampered next, jumped left 9th, mistake and weakened 12th, 5th of 8, 36l behind Houblon Des Obeaux (11-6) at Wincanton 2m 5f nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov.
Pericoloso (IRE) 28-1 (11-3) Not fluent 3rd, in rear, slow 10th, pushed along and outpaced next, left poor 4th last, tailed off, 4th of 7, well behind Grove Pride (11-3) at Exeter 3m nov chs (3) gs in Nov.
Renard D'irlande (FR) 7-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders, ridden to chased winner 3 out, plugged on one pace, 2nd of 7, 10l behind Majala (11-0) at Taunton 2m Beginners Chase (0-125) (4yo+) (3) sft in Nov.
Dimpsy Time 9-2 (10-12) Prominent, led 4 out, headed before 2 out, soon ridden and weakened, 4th of 8, 18l behind Madam Noso (10-9) at Newton Abbot 2m 6f mrs nov hdl (4) gd in Mar.
Miss Tenacious 50-1 (10-9) Behind, went poor 4th 4 out until ridden before 2 out, never involved, 5th of 11, 30l behind Molotof (11-2) at Taunton 2m nov chs (4) gd in Oct.