12.30 The front two in the betting have obvious claims but at the price Chestertern looks value. Bred for this sort of trip he ran well in defeat over a trip on the sharp side last time out.
2.35 Western Jo looks on a fair mark.
12.55 It is interesting that connections of Black River send him straight over fences rather than exploit what might be a workable handicap mark over hurdles.
1.20 The Druids Nephew looks on a fair mark and the ground should suit.
2.25 At Fisher’s Cross is the one to beat.
3.00 Katenko finished last season with wins at Sandown and Cheltenham. There may be more to come although the ground is a possible negative as his winning form has been with plenty of cut. Rocky Creek is held in high regard by Paul Nicholls who has targeted this race for the horse. Recent Carlisle winner Cloudy Too comes into the equation. Richard Johnson has the ride which is a plus.
Kim Muir winner Same Difference will be suited by the ground and should run well. Racing Plus Chase winner Opening Batsman has been pulled up on his last two starts and may not be suited by the track. Highland Lodge lost nothing in defeat when second at Wincantion last month but is at his best in testing ground. Loch Ba is a course winner. His jumping has improved and is not on a bad mark. Hadrian’s Approach had a successful season as a novice and comes from a stable with a good recent record in this race.
A trappy old race this but my selections are Rocky Creek and Hadrian’s Approach.
3.35 If we ignore their latest runs both Greywell Boy and Fairy Roth have live chances.
12.05 Green Flag
1.05 Oscar Rock