Nine go to post in this slightly muddling affair with £5,198 going to the winner. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.
IN SUMMARY: Royal Salute was a good winner at Fontwell two starts back and bumped into one on his last start at Ffos Las so should go well here. He looks a natural over fences as does THEGREENDALEROCKET. This lightly-raced sort from the Jimmy Frost yard won well on debut in this sphere and travelled sweetly that day giving the suggestion he may well be good enough giving weight away to the likely favourite here. The consistent Ultimatum Du Roy can chase them home.
1 Sun Wild Life – Fair chaser who won at Taunton in class 4 handicap at the start of the year and runner-up in a couple of good races at Fontwell (Good) and Newton Abbot (Heavy). The winner of both races was either completing or has completed back-to-back victories in better races since so good chance on best form. Uninspiring effort on comeback-run at Exeter last month and needs to come on for that to get involved here.
2 Gary Charm – Multiple winner in France when with three different trainers and has since moved to David Pipe. Poor form so far including seventh of 15 at Chepstow (Good/Soft) last month and needs to find bags of improvement back over fences to get involved here. Has a good conditional on board taking off 7lb and blinkers on. Yard also run Café De Paris.
3 Thegreendalerocket – Winning pointer and lightly-raced for his age. Good three-length winner at Chepstow (Good/Soft) on first start under Rules 49 days ago, travelling nicely and taking it up stylishly three-out. He seemingly has a lot more to give up 6lb being a son of Oscar whose progeny make good chasers and is a big player here.
4 Carloswayback – Eleven-year old now and last won two years ago in the Eisteddfod Handicap Chase at Exeter (Soft) when a fine winner by 14 lengths. Pulled up on next start and well-held in third in a veteran’s race two weeks ago. Down in grade and seemingly in good heart but will need much more to take this on best form and doesn’t tend to back up good runs after an absence next time out.
5 So Fine – Last win came in a class 2 at Cheltenham (Soft) last year over 2m7f when 33/1. On a good mark now as he has struggled for form since that win and wears a tongue-tie today. Best watched for now unless market speaks in his favour.
6 Café De Paris – Multiple winner in minor events in France and well-beaten third on second run for yard behind the useful Cody Wyoming at Lingfield (Good/Soft) two weeks ago. Up in trip now and one to note in the market.
7 Butlergrove King – Back-to-back winner last Autumn at Worcester and Ludlow, both on good ground. Decent runner-up to subsequent winners including Mercers Court earlier this year and looked in need of run on comeback run at Chepstow (Good/Soft) over 2m7f. Up in trip here and needs to prove stamina for this trip (pulled up only start at Newton Abbot on good ground).
8 Ultimatum Du Roy – Useful chaser who scored comfortably by 2½ lengths on second run after absence recently at Ludlow (Good). Up in trip here but should get involved on best form and has won over this trip at Market Rasen (Heavy) before. Solid each-way chance.
9 Royal Salute – Fair hurdler and seems to love it at Fontwell with two wins there this year including when an easy winner of a class 5 handicap chase on third start over fences last month. Couldn’t follow up at Ffos Las on last start (front two pulled well clear of third) and looks a good chaser in the making being by Flemensfirth. Should play a big part here.