War Poet has only had three runs over hurdles but has won three times up to 1m4f on the Flat and is potentially well treated on his handicap debut over timber. This trip could stretch his stamina, however, and we'd rather take a chance on TALKIN THOMAS finding the necessary improvement to land this. Nicky Richards' charge made a very satisfactory reappearance at Worcester in October and should have more to offer over this distance. James Eustace's hurdlers do well here so watch for any market interest in Go Set Go while Tony Carroll's pair Luggers Hall and Taroum could also figure. Switched Off also has potential but Xenophon was beaten in a claimer here last month.
Switched Off 15-2 (11-9) Chased leaders, hit 5th, losing place when hit 8th, headway after 4 out, travelling well in close 3rd approaching 3 out, hanging right and still chance when blundered badly and unseated rider 2 out, in a race won by Parson's Punch (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Nov, 10 ran.
Strongly Suggested 28-1 (11-6) Raced wide towards rear, never involved, 8th of 14, 37l behind Canadian Diamond (10-9) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Oct.
Luggers Hall (IRE) 10-1 (11-5) Held up, not fluent 1st, ridden and no impression bypassing normal 2 out, 9th of 10, 25l behind Open Day (11-2) at Leicester 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Nov.
Talkin Thomas (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear on inside, headway when not much room 5th, not much room when not fluent 2 out, weakened flat, 4th of 13, 11l behind Thomas Crapper (10-12) at Worcester 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gd in Oct.
Go Set Go 6-1 (11-3) Raced wide, in rear, reminders after 5th, some headway 3 out, never on terms, 5th of 11, 25l behind Wom (10-10) at Fakenham 2m 4yo mdn stks (4) gd in Mar.
Alta Rock (IRE) 14-1 (11-1) In touch, ridden and weakened before 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 15, 48l behind Sporting Boy (11-3) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Nov.
Xenophon 8-1 (10-10) In touch, headway 7th, ridden to lead narrowly next, headed run in, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 1 3/4l behind Westlin' Winds (11-2) at Market Rasen 2m 3f clm hdl (5) sft in Nov.
Denton (NZ) 25-1 (9-7) Mistake 1st, pressed leader, hit 5th, led briefly 3 out, soon lost place, weakened before next, tailed off, 9th of 12, well behind Ubi Ace (11-5) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gs in Dec '11.
Taroum (IRE) 20-1 (10-8) Held up towards rear, headway bypassing normal 2 out, mistake last, never on terms, 6th of 10, 10l behind Open Day (11-2) at Leicester 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Nov.
War Poet 4-1 (10-12) Mid-division, headway 6th, tracked leaders 2 out (usual 3 out), every chance next, no extra flat, 4th of 13, 9l behind Embsay Crag (10-12) at Wetherby 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec '11.
Rangefinder 9-1 (11-8) Tracked leaders, outpaced 3 out, weakened next, 5th of 6, 39l behind Artic Night (10-10) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy in Dec '11.