Jonjo O'Neill's ROCK NOIR lacks any chasing experience but was high class over hurdles in France and his one outing for current connections is probably best discounted when always towards the rear in the County Hurdle; he looks worth chancing on his chasing debut. Cootehill has won both starts over fences for Nigel Twiston-Davies but is likely to find this tougher under his penalties, while the Philip Hobbs-trained Cockney Trucker created a favourable impression when opening his account over fences at Newton Abbot but he had disappointed prior to that and does not look one to trust implicitly. Gary Moore's Wade Farm Billy needs to improve on all known form to trouble the judge.
Cootehill (IRE) Evensfav (11-6) Always prominent, hit 4 out, led on bit approaching last, very easily, won at Stratford 2m 4f nov chs (4) gf in Sep beating Mam Ratagan (11-3) by 4l, 6 ran.
Cockney Trucker (IRE) 5-4fav (10-12) Tracked leader, left in lead 3rd, headed 7th, jumped right and led narrowly 9th, clear when jumped right 2 out, kept on well, won at Newton Abbot 2m nov chs (4) gd in May beating Simarian (10-12) by 3 1/2l, 4 ran.
Hi Tide (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Held up in rear, took keen hold, headway 6th, challenged 3 out, fell next, in a race won by Holoko Heights (11-5) at Worcester 2m nov chs (4) gd in Sep, 7 ran.
Rock Noir (FR) 9-1 (11-12) Held up in rear, some headway under pressure after 3 out, ridden and weakened from next, 21st of 28, 37l behind Thousand Stars (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl G3 (1) gd in Mar.
Wade Farm Billy (IRE) 9-4fav (11-0) Led, jumped right 3rd, headed 4 out, ridden approaching next, jumped right 2 out and weakened, jumped badly right last, last of 7, well behind Nintytwo Team (11-0) at Fontwell 2m 2f beg chase (4) gd in Jun.
Highland Storm 100-1 (10-7) Chased leaders, lost place 5th, soon behind and no danger after, 7th of 10, well behind Causeway King (10-12) at Warwick 2m 3yo nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.