This is about as tough as puzzles get, accordingly our selection BREWERY MAN is a marginal one over Nodform William and River Ripples. Ferdy Murphy's charge took third behind the improving Novikov last time and as this step up in trip will suit - his sole success came over two and a half miles - everything looks in place for a solid display, a comment that does not apply to many. Nodform William at least brings recent winning form to the table in the shape of a last time out success. The eight-year-old has proved consistent at a modest level; indeed he's reliable enough for the grade and has a promising jockey on board. River Ripples completes the shortlist for Tom George. The 11-year-old has been competing in chases of late that have been much better than this, so he's given each-way claims alongside Hassadin who has had just the one start over timber and showed a little promise when taking second. Sun King has claims at the weights but he's 13 now and was pulled up when last seen in March which clouds the matter, whilst Boing Boing was a bit better than most of these when last seen but that was in 2008 and a leap of faith is required to row in with him. Eco Story represents a strong yard and should be noted for support along with Minella For Food whose old form in Ireland would make this a penalty kick, though it has to be said he's looked modest lately. Waltham Abbey is back down to a more appropriate grade and has form in this sphere but carrying top weight might ask too much and King's Majesty will need to go back to his 2008 form to get competitive so of more interest at a price is Mardood who should go close enough if jumping better. Stakes are best kept to a minimum in this drab contest, but our hope is that Brewery Man can score.
Waltham Abbey 22-1 (11-11) Chased leaders, ridden and weakened 3 out, 12th of 13, well behind Ballabrook (10-5) at Catterick 2m 3f con hcp hdl 0-110 3yo+ (4) gs in Dec.
Bewery Man (IRE) 13-8fav (10-12) Led, headed approaching 2 out, no extra and lost 2nd near finish, 3rd of 6, 8l behind Novikov (10-9) at Uttoxeter 2m sll hdl (4-8yo) (5) sft in Dec.
Boing Boing (IRE) 11-8fav (10-9) Led, hit 3 out, edged right flat, caught post, 2nd of 10, shd behind Liberia (10-7) at Warwick 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in Mar '08.
Carlton Mac 100-1 (10-5) Towards rear, mistake 2nd, reminders after 3rd, weakening when mistaking 8th, tailed off and pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Edge Of Town (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec, 11 ran.
Eco Story (IRE) 50-1 (10-2) Tracked leaders, led after 2nd, headed approaching 2 out, weakened approaching last, 7th of 10, well behind Cunning Clarets (10-12) at Hexham 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Finnegans Rainbow 28-1 (9-7) Mid-division, lost place 7th, soon behind, tailed off, 8th of 11, well behind Petroglyph (11-2) at Fakenham 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gs in Nov.
Garnahalowey Lad (IRE) 33-1 (10-9) Always behind, tailed off and pulled up before last, in a race won by Breeze Out (11-0) at Hexham 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gf in May, 8 ran.
Insignia (IRE) 14-1 (11-4) Led to after 1st, chased leaders, lost place before 4th, blundered next, soon ridden, weakened 2 out, 6th of 13, 33l behind Shadrack (10-12) at Catterick 2m sell hcp hdl 0-90 (5) sft in Jan.
King's Majesty (IRE) 7-1 (11-12) Held up in touch, pushed along approaching 6th, outpaced after 3 out, no impression, 5th of 10, 18l behind Laconicos (10-5) at Plumpton 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Nov.
Mardood 4-1fav (9-13) Held up mid-division, headway well fell 3 out, in a race won by Shadrack (10-12) at Catterick 2m sell hcp hdl 0-90 (5) sft in Jan, 13 ran.
Minella For Food (IRE) 33-1 (10-11) Always in rear, struggling 4, tailed off and pulled up before next, in a race won by Money Order (11-7) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec, 14 ran.
Nodform William 17-2 (11-8) Tracked leaders, led 4 out, stayed on strongly, won at Kelso 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gs in Oct '08 beating Maneki Neko (11-9) by 6l, 15 ran.
River Ripples (IRE) 6-1 (11-8) Held up, jumped slow 4th, pushed long and chased leaders from12th, weakened approaching 16th, 6th of 8, well behind Lord Appellare (11-6) at Huntingdon 3m hcp 0-100 (4) gs in Dec.
Slow Escape (USA) 250-1 (10-5) Behind, weakened from 7th, 12th of 15, well behind Tilt (10-12) at Catterick 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Sun King 9-2 (11-12) Held up, some headway 5th, lost place next, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Sparkling Montjeu (10-0) at Catterick 2m sell hdl (5) gd in Mar, 16 ran.
Woodfield Lord (IRE) 50-1 (11-12) Led, ridden and headed before 6th, soon no extra and weakened, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Ballymak (11-12) at Navan 2m 4f mdn hdl hvy in Nov, 28 ran.
Hassadin 25-1 (10-12) Always prominent, challenged 3 out, hit 2 out, stayed on under pressure flat, took 2nd near finish, 2nd of 12, 2l behind Tesserae (10-5) at Ludlow 2m 3yo nov sll hdl (4) sft in Dec.