The Last Day had plenty in hand when opening his account over fences at Carlisle on his final start last season. He travelled smoothly, jumped well throughout and surged clear to put daylight between himself and the rest of the field, completing a relatively simple task.
Evan Williams’s charge won a bumper and twice over hurdles but has taken well to chasing and looks the type to do even better this season. He makes his reappearance with his yard in good form and returns to handicap company on a lenient-looking mark he can defy.
Follow The Bear hit top form over hurdles this summer, completing his hat-trick at Market Rasen after winning here and at Ffos Las. He then shaped with clear promise when finishing runner-up on his chase debut at Worcester in September in a race that looked decent for the time of year and the track.
The winner has since gone close, adding some substance to the form, and Follow The Bear tackles his first handicap over fences on a decent mark and with the potential to do even better. Some of his main rivals are either making their first start over fences or a return from a summer break, so Follow The Bear should be able to put his race fitness to good use.
Duke Street arrives here in search of a four-timer after mixing chasing and hurdling to good effect. He was an easy winner at Worcester on his latest start over fences, landing a novice chase by five lengths, and has since followed up over hurdles at Worcester and Cheltenham.
His success at Cheltenham was particularly impressive. He produced a career-best effort to score by five lengths and is clearly in a rich vein of form. More will be required to defy his new mark, but he is lightly raced over fences and represents the in-form Richard Newland.
*Prices correct at time of publishing