Alibi De Sivola is the most interesting runner in this field, considering that he beat a useful sort when successful in a Carlisle novice event back in November 2015 for Paul Nicholls. He was subsequently purchased for just 2,500 pounds last August by today's rider Noel Fehily for these connections and has now joined the Nicky Henderson yard. The market is likely to be the best guide to his expectations today. CRIMSON ARK finished second to the high-class Ballyoptic in the Silver Trophy at Chepstow back in October and he had multiple subsequent winners behind him on that occasion. He did not take to fences next time out and back over hurdles, from just 3lb higher than his Chepstow mark, the seven-year-old could take plenty of beating. Unexposed youngesters such as Coastal Tiep, Lough Derg Leader and River Frost also make the shortlist.
COASTAL TIEP didn't quite come up to expectations last time, but it's understandable given the quality on offer in that particular novice event, so he's well worth another chance to build on the impression made when landing his hurdling debut at this track in November. Argante is another handicap debutant to note and River Frost will be a big player if he gets the trip.