Alan King's Black Jacari has been frustrating to follow so far and despite this the easiest of his assignments to get off the mark his lack of winning spirit is a concern so the vote goes to NICE STYLE with Rileyev also in the mix. The selection makes his bow over obstacles but David Pipe's runner was more than useful on the flat winning four from seven starts. Those came over a mile and above so stamina shouldn't be an issue and he did enough to impress some shrewd connections, who have had two winners from the last two horsse they have sent out over hurdles. Black Jacari hasn't quite taken to timber since switching from the flat. A number of disappointing runs in what has so far proved some weak looking races is a big negative but he has less to beat here. Rileyev won a bumper at a regional course in France so has a chance especially for a stable in terrific form. Thumbs Up is another who has some decent flat form to call on for his hurdles bow while Hampton Court is expected to keep improving and connections have high hopes for big handicaps next season but in this contest Nice Style can win in this sphere at the first time of asking.
Black Jacari (IRE) 5-1 (11-2) Held up, ridden and headway 2 out, challenged approaching last, one pace flat, 5th of 8, 5l behind Stradbrook (11-12) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Cesium (FR) 33-1 (10-7) Towards rear, ridden and weakened approaching 2 out, 7th of 12, 38l behind Carrickboy (11-3) at Taunton 2m 1f mdn hdl (4) hvy.
Hampton Court 50-1 (10-9) Took keen hold in rear, hit 2nd and 4th, ridden and struggling after 2 out, 8th of 13, 22l behind Ronaldo Des Mottes (10-12) at Folkestone 2m 1f 4yo mdn hdl (4) gs in Jan.
Latin Scholar (IRE) 20-1 (10-7) Pulled early towards rear, ridden and effort 3 out, weakened approaching 2 out, 5th of 13, 27l behind Eradicate (11-5) at Taunton 2m 1f nov hdl (4) gs in Jan.
Monsieur Cadou (FR) 100-1 (10-7) Held up last, ridden 3 out, weakened approaching 2 out, 5th of 12, 24l behind Carrickboy (11-3) at Taunton 2m 1f mdn hdl (4) hvy.
Nice Style (IRE) 11-4 (8-4) Tracked leader, 2nd halfway, travelled well to lead 2f out, ridden and kept on well inside final furlong, won at Dundalk 1m 3f stk pol in Oct beating Varsity (8-9) by 3/4l, 6 ran (Flat).
Rileyev (FR) Goldneyev gelding out of Jiletta.
Rio Laine 100-1 (10-7) Chased leader, ridden and weakened 3 out, 8th of 11, well behind Aachen (11-3) at Taunton 2m 1f mdn hdl (4) hvy.
Ski Sunday 25-1 (10-12) Held up, headway after 6th, soon ridden, went 3rd approaching 2 out, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 7, 17l behind Mr Thriller (11-5) at Fontwell 2m 2f 4yo nov hdl (4) sft.
Thumbs Up 12-1 (8-13) Mid-division, never on terms, 7th of 15, 15l behind Expresso Star (8-13) at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) sft in Oct (Flat).
She Is A Cracker (FR) 2-1fav (9-11) Took keen hold, held up towards rear, hampered 1st, headway approaching 5th, mistake 3 out, soon weakened, 7th of 12, 29l behind Kilvergan Boy (11-4) at Towcester 2m nov hdl (3) sft in Jan.