BIG RIVER can splash his way to Grade 3 glory. Staying will be everything in the conditions and Lucinda Russell’s nine-year-old just keeps chugging along.
He was just coming into his own at the end of four miles when a closing fifth in the Scottish Grand National when last seen in April.
He loves the mud and was a good fourth in the Ultima at the Festival in March. He’s down the weights since then and has had a breathing op.
Ramses De Teillee is another mudlark who can’t be ruled out despite giving almost a stone to the others. He came back with a convincing hurdles win here last time at the October meeting when the ground was also bottomless. He was second in the Welsh National so seeing out the trip won’t be an issue.
Pop Rockstar is a progressive chaser who got up the hill well when winning at Carlisle on comeback. He’s gone well in testing conditions and looks a big threat for Jonjo.
Achille has good form around three miles and should get home. He enjoyed the soft ground when winning at Ffos Las and jumps really well.
West Approach has run well in some fancy races but didn’t seem to stay 3m1f when second here on comeback. That could have been a fitness issue but he has a little to prove.
SIRUH DU LAC has won six of his seven races over this trip and loved it here when winning a Grade 3 chase and the Stable Plate at the Festival.
He’s been shunted up 9lb for the most recent of those victories but he could easily find more this season. Almost all winners of this race have already scored over fences here and he’s one of the few in the field who can boast that.
Another is Count Meribel who looks a big threat. He won a novice contest at this meeting last year before finding the RSA a big much at the Festival.
His comeback second to potential Gold Cup winner Lostintranslation at Carlisle last time should see him spot on.
Slate House won here on comeback last month when going through the testing ground very nicely. This is tougher but he stays well and is on an upward curve.
Guitar Pete looks a good each-way bet after winning with plenty in hand at Wetherby latest. He stays well and won’t mind the conditions.
Venetia Williams horses all seem to like the mud and Belami Des Pictons is no exception. He’s been hard to get on the track but has looked useful at times. He shapes like a real stayer and the yard is in excellent form.
Us And Them is classy but can make jumping errors and Spiritofthegames could be a bigger threat. He won first up last season and was a cracking second in the Stable Plate in March. He’s up the weights but can’t be ignored.
THIS could turn into a war and TOBEFAIR can defy another big weight to strike. He has so much lead in the saddle thanks to three excellent runs here.
He was second in the Pertemps Final at the Festival before lagging in at the April meeting. He showed massive heart when ploughing through the mud to give weight away all round when scoring again here last month. His ticker will see him go close.
Smackwater Jack went well on comeback at Aintree last time when beaten in a tight finish. He saw out the extended three miles well there and a 4lb rise seems fair although he hasn’t tackled heavy ground before.
The Butcher Said was a fair second here on comeback and should be fitter for the run. He’s another who has been winning in quicker conditions but is open to improvement.
Eva’s Oskar is a real stayer who kept galloping when second in lesser company at Chepstow last month. He’s almost a stone higher here but there’s more to come.
Vieux Lion Rouge won a Chepstow chase on comeback and is over timber for the first time since 2015. He will love the ground so can’t be ruled out from his lower hurdles mark.
Hear No Evil struggled on his first run for almost two years at Aintree last month. He should come on for that and trainer Dan Skelton is in good form.
CONRON loved the testing ground when winning at Punchestown last month. He saw out a similar trip well and looked to have plenty left in the tank.
The handicapper has been a little harsh with a 13lb rise but Jessica Harrington isn’t sending him over for a holiday. Jatiluwih has done well since crossing the Channel with four wins on the spin.
He gave plenty of weight away when scoring at Wetherby and he’s won in the mud. Treasure Dillon enjoyed his comeback run when third in decent company here last month.
He was right there until the lack of a recent outing may have told in the final furlong. He looks handicapped to go close.
Legends Gold is looking for her fourth win on the bounce. She didn’t have to move past first gear to score at Ludlow latest and deserves this hike in class.
Remastered looked rusty on his handicap debut at Chepstow and should do better with Tom Scudamore taking over in the saddle.
Falco Blitz will find this harder than his Fakenham victory but this longer trip should suit Nicky Henderson’s hope.
Jacamar ran on strongly at the end of two miles at Ascot a couple of Saturdays ago and may find more for this stiffer stamina test.
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ALRAJAA looks hard to beat as he bids to land four wins on the spin. After a rusty comeback second at Salisbury he scooted in at Chepstow and showed his liking for the all-weather with comfortable wins at Chelmsford and in this class at Kempton last time.
He can progress past his 7lb hike in the weights for that success over an ideal trip. Goring usually runs well here and has had a break since a modest effort at Chelmsford back in June. He looks on a fair mark and is capable of hitting the frame at tasty odds.
Alemaratalyoum doesn’t have a lot of all-weather experience but his turf form is strong enough. He won well at Goodwood in September before a close third at York over this trip latest.
This opposition is no better and he has every chance. Star Of Southwold didn’t fire at Chelmsford last time when failing to see out 1m2f and this trip will suit much better.
Marco Botti is in good form and his Wait Forever has a Listed win to his name from Italy. He’s coming back from a break for this British debut but his 7lb claimer is good value.
Ptarmigan Ridge has been trying different trips with mixed results. He was a solid second at Haydock latest and has claims if getting home.
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MAGIC LILY can blossom. She was third in the 2017 Group 1 Fillies’ Mile but didn’t run again until a comeback second at St Cloud last month. That was just her third career outing and she clearly needed it.
She’s been given a little break since to rule out the bounce factor. There should be a lot more to come.
Frankie and Johnny G team up with Scentasia who looks the biggest threat after a convincing victory here latesr. That was over a mile and she didn’t get home the last time she tackled this trip.
The ground was tacky that day and this quicker surface should help on that score. In-form Joseph O’Brien sends over Crotchet who was second in a Dundalk Listed contest 15 days ago.
She needs to step up and fellow Irish raider Simply Beautiful could be a bigger threat. Bottomless ground didn’t suit at Naas after she went close in a Newmarket Group 3.
She has to be on the shortlist. Eva Maria has been flying in handicaps and had plenty in hand when winning at HQ last month. She stays and has more to offer.
Ojooba ran out of stamina last time but needs to improve even back over her best trip.
LORD NORTH has been in cracking form this autumn with a win in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket followed by a good second in the Balmoral handicap at Ascot.
He stepped into this Listed class to land an easy victory at HQ last time when this distance suited well. He’s won on the all-weather before so there are no worries about him taking to this surface.
It takes a fair bit to get Frankie out in the cold and he’s clearly looking forward to another good win. John Gosden has another chance with Crossed Baton.
He has held his own in Group races across the Channel and is lightly raced this term with two quiet runs at Epsom. He’s surely capable of better.
Caradoc scored well over this trip at Newbury last time out in September. This is a hike in class but he is consistent and won’t be far away.
Kuwait Currency won a Listed race a couple of years ago and is a regular winner at Kempton. All his victories have been around a mile but he has place claims.
Pactolus has gone well here before and was third in a decent contest last month. Mr Scaramanga is an honest handicapper but needs to raise his game in this company.
GIFTED MASTER gets the nod in a wide open contest. He won this race two seasons ago and came right back to that form when second here 16 days ago.
He was involved in a ding-dong battle for that hot handicap and dropping back in trip looks a wise move.
Above The Rest should run well after being third in that race. He had a lot of ground to make up in the short straight and will hopefully be closer to the pace today.
Frankie Dettori is an eyecatching booking on Stake Aclaim. He went close to winning a Group 2 in France the last time the Italian was on board and this trip suits well.
He was a solid third in a Listed race at Ascot latest. Judicial is probably better over 5f but has winning form at this trip too. He won in this class two starts ago so is capable of landing a blow.
Show Stealer is holding his form well in handicaps and scored with something in hand at Kempton last week. This is a higher level but he’s gone well at Lingfield before and could step up.
Royal Birth is having a good run and followed two Chelmsford wins with a close second at Kempton. He’s gone close in this class before and could hit the frame.
12.05 Thyme Hill
12.40 Mick Pastor
1.15 Wholestone (nb)
1.50 Big River
2.25 Siruh Du Lac
3.00 TOBEFAIR (NAP)
4.00 Midnight Callisto
1.20 Petite Power
1.55 Bon Calvados
2.30 Midnight Tune
1.05 Good Boy Bobby
1.40 Ryedale Racer
2.15 Mr Antolini
2.50 Big Bad Bear
3.20 Dali Mail
11.55 Quick Recovery
12.25 Arabian Warrior
1.00 Alrajaa (treble)
2.10 Magic Lily
2.45 Lord North
3.15 Gifted Master
3.45 Taurean Dancer
4.15 Star Of Valour
4.45 Favorite Moon
5.15 Queen’s Course
5.45 You Don’t Own Me
6.15 Moment Of Silence
7.15 Iron Mike
7.45 Shepherd’s Purse