A really interesting novice hurdle in which all have acceptable claims. Harry Fry has made a good start to his solo training career and Billy Merriott should go well for the Somerset handler, having been last seen when landing a comfortable success at Hereford last May. However, BALLYLIFEN put in a very pleasing effort on his first run for Mick Channon since leaving Henrietta Knight when second to Weekend Millionaire and can make his guaranteed fitness count under conditions and trip that should prove ideal. The one to keep an eye on in the market is Alan King's Letsby Avenue, a battling winner of his sole bumper outing and expected to develop into a useful sort over timber this term. He would be even more interesting were the market to speak strongly in his favour in a contest well worth close attention.
Ace Fighter Pilot 7-2 (11-0) Made virtually all, jumped left 3rd and 2 out, clear before last, easily, won at Hereford 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gf in Aug beating Pasture Bay (11-0) by 21l, 7 ran.
Billy Merriott (IRE) 2-1 (10-9) Towards rear, headway before 7th, went 2nd 3 out, led 2 out, pushed along before last, soon clear, won at Hereford 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gf in May beating Monturgeon (10-12) by 9l, 10 ran.
Ballylifen (IRE) 6-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, went 2nd approaching 4th, led approaching 2 out, ridden and headed last, not pace of winner flat, 2nd of 12, 3 1/2l behind Weekend Millionair (10-12) at Wincanton 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Chargen (IRE) 9-2 (10-12) Led, jumped left 4 out, headed approaching 2 out, gradually weakened, 3rd of 10, 18l behind Brassick (10-12) at Huntingdon 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft.
Letsby Avenue 17-2 (10-12) Mid-division, headway 6f out, not clear run on inside over 2f out, switching right when clipped heels and stumbled badly soon after, ran on well inside final furlong to lead last strides, won at Haydock 2m NH flat (6) gd in Apr beating Florida Quays (10-12) by 1/2l, 10 ran.
Tothemoonandback (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Mid-division, hit 1st, headway 7th, weakened approaching 2 out, tailed off, 5th of 12, 42l behind Le Bec (10-12) at Kempton 2m 5f nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.