Gentleman Jeff won under the champ at Worcester in July, his only success to date over fences. But he has finished second twice at Hereford recently and shouldn't be far away here. But there should be more to come from ROLL THE DICE, who was sent off a hot favourite on his chasing bow at Stratford last month only to make mistakes and weaken quickly after pulling for his head. Hopefully that experience will not have been lost on him and the handicapper has dropped him a pound since. Knapp Bridge Boy will probably stay on into a place and Sophonie has ability but Black Phantom and Novikov have disappointed over fences so far.
Sophonie (FR) 9-2 (10-13) In rear, struggling 6th, kept on under pressure from 4 out, never near leaders, 5th of 10, 18l behind The Thirsty Bricky (10-12) at Ayr 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Mar.
Gentleman Jeff (USA) 11-4fav (11-5) Tracked leader, hit 1st, with leader 4th, pushed along before 9th, led before 3 out, headed 2 out, ridden before last, kept on, 2nd of 7, 3 1/2l behind Carleton Place (10-1) at Hereford 2m 3f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gf in Sep.
Black Phantom (IRE) 7-1 (11-4) Prominent, not fluent 3rd, jumped slowly and lost place 6th, well beaten 3 out, 7th of 9, 36l behind Mister Hyde (11-11) at Ffos Las 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) hvy in May.
Novikov 9-1 (11-8) Led until 2nd, led next, headed 5th, lost place 4 out, mistake and weakened next, 7th of 9, well behind Henry San (11-12) at Stratford 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Sep.
Roll The Dice (IRE) 11-10fav (11-9) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, went 2nd 4th until 4 out, blundered badly next, soon struggling, mistake 2 out, stayed on to take 3rd flat, no impression, 3rd of 5, 18l behind Aviso (11-12) at Stratford 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Sep.
Chase Gate 20-1 (11-8) Held up, not fluent 1st, ridden after 10th, mistake and weakened 14th, tailed off, 8th of 11, 50l behind Allerford Jack (11-11) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp chs 0-105 (4) gd in Jul.
Knapp Bridge Boy 7-1 (10-1) In rear in 4th and in touch, went 3rd from 7th, outpaced from before 3 out, plugged on to take 2nd close home, no chance with winner, 2nd of 4, 15l behind Moulin De La Croix (11-8) at Newton Abbot 2m hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft.
Roybuoy 6-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, good headway 9th, tracked leaders next, went 3rd on inside before 2 out, every chance last, driven and kept on flat, just held close home, 3rd of 11, 1/2l behind Lord Lescribaa (11-2) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd in Aug.
Nesnaas (USA) 25-1 (9-7) In rear, reminders 8th, behind 10th, pulled up before 12th, in a race won by Tuskar Rock (11-8) at Leicester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gd in Feb, 8 ran.