IN SUMMARY: Three Faces West was perhaps caught out by the step up in trip on his latest start at Cheltenham and can be forgiven that run regardless as it was after a long break. He’s entitled to come on for that run and is the main danger to our selection FULL IRISH, who gained his first chasing win at the second attempt when scoring at Lingfield last month. He won easily and an eight pound rise will not stop this lightly raced six year old from going on again under Davy Russell.
1 THREE FACES WEST – Was bidding for a hat-trick when disappointing at Cheltenham last time, finishing a well beaten third after fading badly late on. Conditions were dire that day though and a drop in trip with this ground should suit perfectly. Leading player off top weight for the Champion Jockey.
2 VIC DE TOUZAINE – Won on seasonal debut at Carlisle two months ago, keeping on gamely to lead in the final stride. His latest run at Wincanton in the Badger Ales was disappointing though after a seven pound rise, pulled up. He’s on the same mark here and although this is marginally easier, questions now remain.
3 FULL IRISH – Lightly raced six year old who scored on his second chasing start at Lingfield last month, keeping on strongly to win with plenty in hand. He’s now eight pounds higher but remains unexposed over fences, given his ideal conditions here. Should be very tough to beat under Davy Russell.
4 BROADWAY BUFFALO – Hasn’t been seen since February 2016, finishing second in the Grand National Trial at Haydock. That form has worked out well and he returns off four pounds lower, but a 672 day absence does temper enthusiasm. Market support should be noted but caution is advised.
5 LAKE VIEW LAD – Gained his first chasing success at the fourth attempt when scoring at Newcastle three weeks ago, extending on the run-in. His jumping was sloppy at times and a four pound rise is fair, still remaining with potential in this sphere. He’s an each way contender with a good three pound claimer aboard.
6 CAPTAIN REDBEARD – Likeable sort who returned with a positive effort at Ayr before being hampered at Aintree in the Sefton on his latest start. He goes on heavier ground but a strong test at this trip may just prove a bridge too far for him. Hard to rule out, but others should see this out that bit stronger.
8 CATAMARAN DU SEUIL – Gained a maiden chasing success when scoring at Ayr by a short-head last month, though he was well beaten latest off two pounds higher in attritional conditions. He’s on the same mark here and although he’s still unexposed, others are preferred on balance.
9 NO PLANNING – Course and distance winner who has struggled in recent times for Sue Smith, well beaten under both codes the last twice. He continues to tumble down the weights, but still makes limited appeal.
10 GO WEST YOUNG MAN – Improvement stagnated over fences earlier this year, still a maiden in this sphere. His two runs this season have been lacklustre, unseating his rider latest at Huntingdon after showing some quirks. Hard to make a case for.