Notre Ami underwent a breathing operation over the summer and hinted at a revival when fifth at Fontwell after eight months off. He confirmed the promise of that display when third at the same venue on Boxing Day and assuming he can continue in the right direction, holds solid claims here from the same mark.
Fairly useful in bumpers for Gordon Elliott, Global Society made the switch across the Irish sea to join Nicky Henderson’s yard in November. He looked a good prospect on his stable debut, making a winning start to life over hurdles with a commanding victory at Doncaster last month.
That was quite a taking performance and, with plenty of scope for improvement, he looks a good bet to make it back-to-back victories, particularly now tried over a longer trip.
Not That Fuisse matched his useful hurdles form when runner-up on his first two starts over fences at Uttoxeter and Cheltenham in October.
He was then somewhat disappointing at Warwick but shaped much better when sixth in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham last time, certainly showing enough to suggest he’ll be of interest off a similar mark going forward.
He should be able to take advantage of this drop in class to open his account over fences.
Imperial Elysian didn’t get far on his chasing debut when departing at the first, but he got back on the up reverted back to hurdles at Huntingdon last month. In fact, he may have been value for a little extra than the bare winning margin as he twice met trouble in-running nearing the home turn.
He is still unexposed and a 4 lb rise may not be enough to stop him going in again.
Touch Kick returned in better form than ever with an impressive win at Fakenham in October and wasted no time getting back on track when runner-up to the subsequent Sky Bet Chase second over this C&D last month.
He is a big player off the same mark and can take advantage of this drop in class to resume winning ways.
Duc de Bourbon was well supported in the market on his debut at Wincanton in December but shaped as though in need of the run for both fitness and experience. He is open to plenty of improvement with that outing under his belt, though, and the way he was backed suggests he is held in high regard, so he is taken to get off the mark at the second time of asking.
Flinteur Sacre attracted plenty of support on his debut, probably more to do with his being a full brother to Sprinter Sacre rather than any inside information, but he duly showed plenty of ability amidst his greenness to finish runner-up.
He looks to have a very bright future ahead of him and should have no trouble going one better here.