Bothy went close in a Grade 3 hurdle at Cheltenham last month and looks to have every chance. He's just preferred to Bivouac who won four times on the Flat here before landing one of these races at last week's meeting. However, RECESSION PROOF is rated higher than both over timber after winning a novice hurdle at Lingfield last month. A four-time winner on the level, John Quinn's charge gets the vote. Best Prospect has won on the Flat this year and is another to consider after finishing a decent third over timber last month.
Best Prospect (IRE) 4-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway after 3 out, ridden to challenge run-in, no extra and lost 2nd place towards finish, 3rd of 12, 2 3/4l behind Doeslessthanme (11-6) at Kelso 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Nov.
Bivouac (UAE) 4-5fav (11-0) Tracked leaders and keen, shaken up to lead approaching final furlong, drew clear inside final furlong, pushed out, won at Southwell 2m Nat Hunt Flat (4yo+) (AWT) (4) std beating Rawaaj (11-0) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
Borero (FR) 18-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, in rear from 6th, pushed along 9th, soon reminders, weakened from 12th, tailed off 5 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Le Platino (11-9) at Wetherby 2m 6f hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Nov, 6 ran.
Bothy 16-1 (9-13) Chased leader, led and hit 4 out, headed after 2 out, rallied gamely towards finish, just held, 2nd of 17, nk behind Menorah (11-12) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Nov.
Divers (FR) 40-1 (11-7) In rear, mistake 9th, ridden and some progress after 11th, no impression 4 out, left poor 5th 2 out, tailed off, 5th of 10, 41l behind Time For Rupert (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nov chs (2) gs in Nov.
Hollo Ladies (IRE) 15-2 (11-0) Mid-division and keen, headway on inside 6th, chase winner 3 out, no impression, 2nd of 9, 11l behind Dan Breen (11-0) at Bangor 2m 1f nov chs (4) gs.
J'Adhere (FR) 15-2 (11-5) Took keen hold, steadied rear, headway to chase leaders and hit 5th, disputing lead before 3 out, narrowly headed just before 2 out, chased winner after, one pace and no impression flat, kept on for clear 2nd, 2nd of 8, 2l behind Switched Off (11-8) at Wincanton 2m cond nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gd in Nov.
Nodforms Violet (IRE) 50-1 (11-7) Chased leaders on outside, hit 4th, weakened before 2 out, 8th and no chance when hampered after last, plugged on again flat, 6th of 19, 10l behind Devil To Pay (10-6) at Cheltenham 2m nov hcp hdl (3) gs in Nov.
Nodform William 22-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, hard ridden and weakened well before last, pulled up before last, in a race won by Fair Spin (10-4) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) hvy in Nov, 14 ran.
Recession Proof (FR) 9-4 (11-5) In touch, went right 6th, went 3rd after 3 out, 2nd after 2 out, upsides last, soon led, idled and edged left flat, driven right out, won at Lingfield 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Nov beating Brackloon High (11-5) by 1 1/4l, 11 ran.
Veronicas Boy 33-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, ridden approaching last, one pace, 5th of 15, 9l behind Altan Khan (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Nov.
Vodka Brook (IRE) 3-1fav (11-12) Tracked leaders in 4th and keen, not fluent 7th, weakened 6 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Gilsland (10-9) at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Nov, 8 ran.
Yetholm (USA) 10-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, badly hampered 3rd, mistake 7th, weakened 3 out, tailed off, 8th of 13, well behind I've Been Framed (11-10) at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Nov.
Bogside Theatre (IRE) 17-2 (10-12) Led, headed approaching 2 out, kept on same pace, 4th of 12, 7l behind Doeslessthanme (11-6) at Kelso 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Nov.