FRANCISCAN, a useful middle-distance handicapper on the Flat, was long odds-on for his hurdling debut at Bangor but took a while to master his two rivals. However, the second has won twice since so the form is probably decent and the five-year-old will know more today. He should win again though Blades Lad, another Flat winner, had a recent pipe-opener on the level and showed plenty of promise last winter. Biggar and Politeness have been placed in bumpers, as has Sergeant Mattie who has also won a point-to-point. It will be a surprise if the latter doesn't at least make the frame.
Franciscan 4-9fav (10-12) Led to 2nd, ridden to lead again 2 out, not fluent last, ridden out, won at Bangor 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Aug beating Saint Thomas (10-12) by 4l, 3 ran.
Bertielicious 22-1 (10-0) In rear, ridden and weakened from 2 out, 6th of 10, 20l behind Morning Time (10-1) at Hexham 2m Am nov hcp hdl (5) gd in Jun.
Biggar (IRE) 7-2 (11-2) Chased leaders, ridden over 1f out, kept on and just held towards finish, 2nd of 7, nk behind Magic Present (11-2) at Kelso 2m NH flat (5) gf in May.
Blades Lad 9-2 (10-7) Raced keenly, tracked leaders, outpaced in 3rd approaching 3 out, kept on same pace, no impression with front pair, 3rd of 14, 14l behind Cayman Islands (11-2) at Musselburgh 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Crooked Arrow (IRE) 33-1 (10-7) Mid-division, headway after 4 out, weakened before 3 out, 7th of 11, 43l behind Loose Preformer (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gd in May.
District Attorney (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Held up behind in touch, ridden and outpaced after 3 out, weakend next, tailed off, 8th of 9, 47l behind Saint Thomas (11-5) at Sedgefield 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gf.
Just Tyn (IRE) 100-1 (11-0) Mid-division, weakened 3 out, 8th of 11, 45l behind Revocation (11-0) at Hexham 2m mdn hdl (5) gs.
Politeness (FR) 28-1 (10-0) In touch, ridden to challenge over 2f out, every chance over 1f out, soon outpaced, 3rd of 12, 7l behind Fair Loch (11-2) at Catterick 2m Conditional Nat Hunt Flat Maiden (4-6yo) (6) gs in Feb.
Run Brave Run (IRE) 25-1 (11-1) In touch, pushed along 7f out, weakened 5f out, tailed off, 10th of 14, well behind Mister Jones (11-1) at Hexham 2m NH flat (6) gf in Jun.
Sergeant Mattie (IRE) 7-2fav (11-1) Held up in touch, closed 3f out, ridden over 1f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 9, 10l behind Harry's Farewell (11-4) at Fontwell 2m 2f NH flat (6) hvy in Mar.
Tourtiere 33-1 (8-13) In touch, disputing 2nd over 3f out, ridden and weakened well over 1f out, 14th of 16, 16l behind Artful Prince (9-10) at Newcastle 1m 2f hcp 0-65 (6) gs in Sep (flat).
Eila Wheeler 100-1 (9-12) Held up, pulled hard, mistakes, rider lost iron briefly 2nd, in touch 3 out, outpaced from next, last of 5, 17l behind Red Eyes (10-2) at Sedgefield 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gf in Sep.
Just Poppy (IRE) 20-1 (9-7) Slowly into stride, held up, headway 3f out, one pace inside final furlong, 4th of 10, 13l behind Zibelina (8-12) at Newcastle 7f fll mdn stks (5) gs in Jun (flat).
Rev Up Ruby 28-1 (9-12) Always behind, tailed off 3 out, last of 10, 46l behind Castletown Bridge (10-12) at Perth 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Sep.