IN SUMMARY: DOESYOURDOGBITE won this race last year from a five pound higher mark. He has done little since but a return here with cheekpieces fitted back on looks a sign of intent from the yard to get him back to something like his best. Kildisart is the least exposed in the contest, he like Dashing Oscar go from the front so will need a little luck to not use too much gas up early. Golan Fortune is un-penalised for a win at Ascot on Friday so needs respect while Whatduhavtoget looks capable of better if the hood works.
1 OUR KAEMPFER – Jumping mistakes has seen him lose confidence over fences at a higher level than this. He has won here over both hurdles and fences for a perfect 2/2 record. Capable of running into the frame if he appreciates being back over hurdles.
2 DASHING OSCAR – Arrives looking for a hat-trick having run fields into the ground from the front. He will find it more difficult to dominate this much bigger field but conditions are in his favour and he is still progressing.
3 CONNETABLE – Much better at Sandown last time in blinkers and sent from the front. Those tactics will be harder to execute here, up five pounds for his troubles with the headgear no sure thing to work as well again. Others readily preferred.
4 MINELLA CHARMER – Fallen three times in his last four starts, he has plenty to prove on the back of that. He was well beaten when coming down last time in a better race, hard to support despite conditions looking perfect for him.
5 JALEO – Another who has had jumping issues, a faller twice in his last four starts. Only two pounds above his last winning mark so respectably treated under suitable conditions, but needs plenty to be taken on trust to support.
6 TAKE TO HEART – Looked a smart recruit in the summer, a pair of fluent wins at novice company. Connections got the tactics wrong when bitterly disappointing at Ascot last month on handicap debut, but front running will be difficult in this field.
7 KILDISART – Another who has done his best work from the front, he showed excellent tenacity last time when looking like being swallowed up. This is tougher now in handicap company but his opening mark looks fair and he is open to plenty more progression.
8 DOESYOURDOGBITE – Winner of this race last year when in the midst of a hot spell, he is five pounds lower here having shown little since. He has cheekpieces back on in a bid to sharpen him up which could be the key to a much improved performance.
9 WHATDUHAVTOGET – Inconsistent mare travelled strongly at Sandown last time out before others caught her for toe. She was keen there so the first time hood she is fitted with could suit. Soft ground and this trip are fine so looks an each way player.
10 MIDNIGHT MAESTRO – Prone to throwing in the odd shocker, he wasn’t beaten far in a much better race than this two starts back. Shapes as if the step up in trip will see him in a better light so with conditions perfect, he has a solid chance if on a going day,
11 GOLAN FORTUNE – Lightly raced type was an impressive winner at Ascot on Friday, value for more than the margin. This is a quick turnaround but he escapes a penalty for that success in a similar contest so needs plenty of respect.
12 SHANROE SAINT – Shown a few glimmers of ability in novice events including from the front last time. This is a tough event to start his handicapping career in, with his opening mark looking tougher than he deserves on his novice form.
13 WOLFCATCHER – Slipped more than a stone over hurdles since arriving in this country but has shown little sign of cashing in. Ran a little better last time when third but the returning cheekpieces will have to make a significant impact for him to win this.
14 MR FICKLE – Solid form in the spring but his three runs since back from a break have been a shadow of that. All ground comes alike for him but is still two pounds above his highest ever winning mark in a deeper race than he normally contests. Tough to support.
15 ROTHMAN – Finds winning tough but he can’t be knocked for consistency. Narrowly defeated the last twice at Plumpton, this is tougher but he has been competitive from higher in the past. Won’t find it easy to get to the front however with so many other front runners.