Joseph Mercer was still in contention when falling at Perth back in May and a repeat of his earlier second at Newton Abbot would see him go close. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL has the more recent form with a close-up second to Grouse Lodge over C&D to his credit and Richard Lee's charge gets the nod on that form. Benefit Of Youth came a cropper at Cheltenham last month but has claims on his earlier placed efforts while Briefcase has bits of form that could see him thereabouts. Dual bumper winner Vinnie My Boy and point-to-point winner, The Flying Column, are others to look out for.
Benefit Of Youth (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, hit 4th, fell next, in a race won by According To Trev (11-3) at Cheltenham 3m 1f nh nov hdl (3) gs in Oct, 8 ran.
Black Is Beautiful (FR) 20-1 (10-12) Tracked winner until after 5th, not fluent 7th, went 2nd again approaching last, stayed on, no impression, 2nd of 5, 2 1/2l behind Grouse Lodge (10-12) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Oct.
Briefcase (IRE) 20-1 (11-7) Chased leaders, mistake and lost place 6th, tailed off and pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Cinevator (11-7) at Taunton 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Oct, 16 ran.
Corres (IRE) 6-1 (9-3) Towards rear, ridden over 2f out, soon hung right, kept on to go 4th over 1f out, no impression, 4th of 7, 21l behind Kristalette (8-12) at Kempton 1m 4f mdn auc stks (6) pol in Sep '10 (flat).
Direct Approach (IRE) 125-1 (10-13) In rear, not fluent and jumped slightly right, mistake 5th, lost touch 7th, tailed off, 5th of 6, well behind Spanish Optimist (10-13) at Uttoxeter 3m nov hdl (4) gs in May.
Joseph Mercer (IRE) 11-10fav (11-0) Tracked leaders, upsides when fell 2 out, in a race won by Kris Cross (11-0) at Perth 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gd in May, 15 ran.
Jumbo Supreme (IRE) 3-1 (10-9) Led, hit 7th, soon reminders, headed before 4 out, weakened before 2 out, tailed off, 5th of 7, well behind Streams Of Whiskey (10-12) at Kelso 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Oct.
The Flying Column (IRE) 4-1 (12-0) Tr ldrs, 5th 1/2way, 2nd 2out, sn in front, kow lst, won at Kilfeacle 3m ire ptp sft in Jan beating Panther Claw (12-0) by 1l, 12 ran.
Tweet All 25-1 (11-2) Held up in touch, lost place over 3f out, soon behind, 7th of 8, 44l behind Neston Grace (10-9) at Towcester 1m 5f mdn NH flat (6) gf in Oct.
Ubique (IRE) 15-2 (11-0) Slightly hampered start, held up in rear, headway on outside 7th, weakened approaching 2 out, 4th of 12, 15l behind Hollow Penny (11-0) at Bangor 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Vinnie My Boy (IRE) 9-1 (10-12) Keen close up, jumped left 2nd, weakened after 4 out, 9th of 11, well behind Kaysersberg (10-9) at Kempton 2m 5f nov hdl (4) gs.