Wide-margin point winner The Greater Good ought to have learned from his recent rules debut in a bumper, and today’s longer trip can show him in a better light.
However, this looks a good opportunity for TEMPLEPARK, who showed some fair form over hurdles in 2018 and has subsequently developed into a useful handicap chaser.
This can go to LILYPAD, who returned from a break in good form on the Flat last month and is slightly ahead of the handicapper over hurdles after running well in defeat at Southwell ten days ago.
Solstalla was second to a subsequent winner on softer-than-ideal ground at Stratford recently and is feared most. Course winner Rocket Ronnie is next on the list.
Raving Bonkers looked poised to challenge before his chance-ending jumping error in the home straight at Southwell recently and must be considered off the same mark here. But his finishing effort doesn’t always convince, and he’s yet to add to his bumper win in 2017.
Nachi Falls is very well handicapped and might be perked up by new headgear, but perhaps the answer will be SCOTSBROOK NIGHT. She ran quite well after a layoff this month and will presumably be ridden positively again here.
Doctor Look Here remained in good form after last summer’s comfortable C&D win and Niall Houlihan takes a useful 7lb off his back today, but SAMMYLOU did well to come from the rear and score here 17 days ago, and is taken to overcome a 6lb rise.
My Lady Grey ran very well on her latest outing and remains unexposed over this sort of trip, while Easyrun De Vassy can also feature if perked up by first-time blinkers.
Seamus Mullins’ mare KENTFORD HEIRESS returned to form with a big-odds second in a competitive race at Southwell this month and can collect her fourth course win if in similar mood here.
Percy Street ran about as well as could have been expected in a good Flat handicap a fortnight ago and reverts to hurdling on a workable mark. Gateway To Europe is next on the list.
Beat The Judge was just about the best of these over hurdles and comes here after making a solid start to his chasing career at Stratford 16 days ago.
However, slight preference is for TIDAL WATCH, who was set to gain a clear-cut C&D handicap win before his last-fence fall last summer and ran well when back in action at Southwell this month.
Diamond Gait and Leapaway were behind Beat The Judge at Stratford but both can do better if their jumping is more fluent here.
C&D winners Mr Mafia and Flying Verse return here after very creditable recent efforts, but the former is fully exposed and the latter needs to prove he can cope with a new career-high mark.
SOLDIER OF LOVE (NAP) is due to go up only 5lb for his recent Bangor win but, after only three chase starts, he has plenty of scope for further improvement and is selected to defy his 7lb penalty.
Gold Mountain gave a good account when second over C&D 17 days ago and is respected, but an interesting alternative is BARTON ROSE.
Charlie Longsdon’s mare has been absent since finishing third over C&D last summer, but she goes well fresh and is taken to exploit her career-low mark. Bubble O’Clock was behind Gold Mountain when third here on his latest outing, but still deserves a mention.
Having won with authority on his debut over C&D, it is hard to look beyond BEHOLDEN despite his penalty.
The well-bred Southfield Megan, Chaztara and Mrs Thatcher may be the best of the newcomers.
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