The Thirsty Bricky has been placed at Wetherby and Hexham off this mark in his last two runs and there is no reason why he won't make the frame here. Highbury High should go close if his Doncaster mishap hasn't affected his confidence but it's impossible to have much faith in either That's The Deal or Epee Celeste nowadays and Flaming Gorge hasn't raced since May and looks too high in the weights. SAN TELM's jumping was novicey on his first start over fences at Uttoxeter but he'll know more today and is potentially well treated on his form over hurdles - he could be the value.
Flaming Gorge (IRE) 8-1 (11-12) Led, headed 3 out, one pace in 5th when left 4th next, no chance with leaders before last, 4th of 8, 27l behind Merrion Square (11-7) at Kempton 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in May.
San Telm (IRE) 6-1 (11-2) Held up, not always fluent, outpaced 5 out, soon weakened, last of 8, 34l behind Renard D'Irlande (11-3) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Nov.
The Thirsty Bricky (IRE) 17-2 (11-4) Held up behind, headway before 10th, ridden and went 3rd before last, soon chased winner, kept on and always held, 2nd of 10, 7l behind Sun Cloud (11-10) at Hexham 2m 7f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft.
Highbury High (IRE) 7-4fav (11-0) Held up in last, mistake 5th, not fluent 7th, blundered and unseated rider 9th, in a race won by Clondaw Flicka (11-5) at Doncaster 3m nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) gd in Nov, 6 ran.
That's The Deal (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) Held up, pushed along after 9th, lost touch before next, pulled up before 12th, in a race won by Billy Cuckoo (11-11) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd, 7 ran.
Epee Celeste (FR) 8-1 (10-12) Tracked winner until 9th, weakened 3 out, 5th of 6, 44l behind Al Alfa (11-9) at Stratford 2m 7f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Sep.