Nicky Henderson's Working Title faces no easy task under the burden of 11st 12lb on his return to hurdles having been running over the larger obstacles of late, while Peter Bowen's Ripalong Lad, who is one of three others carrying the same weight, has harshly gone up 13lb for his win at Ffos Las last month. Elliott Cooper's Flying Doctor is seemingly better on faster ground, while Jonjo O'Neill's Tarvini may be a shade high in the weights at present. Martin Todhunter's Word of Warning has every chance if handling the cut in the ground but a better bet looks to be BATHWICK MAN, who gets the vote. David Pipe's gelding has been given a chance by the handicapper, handles a soft surface and he looks worth siding with.
Working Title (IRE) 15-2 (11-10) Chased leaders, hit 1st, with leader 5th, pushed along approaching next, weakened 2 out, 6th of 14, 21l behind Tabaran (10-2) at Newton Abbot 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in May.
Ripalong Lad (IRE) 5-1 (10-10) Tracked leaders, took closer order next, led 2 out, soon clear, easded towards finish, won at Ffos Las 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Aug beating Ambrose Princess (10-13) by 10l, 6 ran.
Valley Ride (IRE) 14-1 (10-13) With leader, jumped left 6th, lost 2nd when jumping slowly 10th, weakened approaching 4 out, 9th of 16, 34l behind Passato (11-3) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f listed hcp chs (1) gd in Aug.
Tarvini (IRE) 11-1 (11-0) Mid-division, headway 4th, ridden 7th, weakened approaching 2 out, 5th of 13, 18l behind Raslan (10-9) at Newton Abbot 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-140 (2) sft in Aug.
Pokanoket (IRE) 22-1 (10-1) Chased leaders and keen early, led 3rd, headed 5th, chased leaders until weakened 3 out, 11th of 21, well behind Picture This (10-7) at Haydock 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) gd in May.
Santa's Son (IRE) 6-1 (11-9) Took keen hold, in touch 3rd, lost place approaching 2 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Front Rank (9-10) at Cartmel 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Aug.
Flying Doctor 7-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 3 out, led approaching last, soon ridden, headed close home, 2nd of 6, nk behind Two Miles West (11-5) at Cartmel 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Aug.
Bathwick Man 10-1 (11-12) Tracked leader, jumped right 1st, mistake 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 9th of 10, well behind Points of View (11-7) at Bangor 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Aug.
No Rules 20-1 (11-10) Led driven and headed approaching 3 out, no chance with leading duo when blundered next, lost poor 3rd towards finish, last of 4, 49l behind Be There In Five (11-10) at Newbury 3m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Mar.
Word of Warning 17-2 (11-1) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, every chance 2 out, no impression on winner before last, 2nd of 10, 9l behind Points of View (11-7) at Bangor 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Aug.
Just Victor 6-4fav (10-12) Tracked leaders, effort and every chance 3 out, soon ridden, kept on same paceapproaching last, no impression, 6th of 14, 35l behind Great Mates (11-5) at Worcester 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Aug.
Royal Max (IRE) 5-1 (11-3) Held up, 7th 2 out, never near leaders, 5th of 12, 18l behind Alph (11-4) at Southwell 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Jul.