Dirty Bertie is in fine fettle at the moment and having obliged at Fontwell and Market Rasen, he is sure to be popular. However, his quest for a hat trick is likely to be put under severe scrutiny from AQUALUNG and Ian Williams' eight-year-old may just prove too strong. A winner by an official margin of 11 lengths on his most recent outing; that figure could easily have been larger had he not been eased down heavily near the finish. The prevailing soft going holds few concerns and he should be capable of further progression. Munlochy Bay won readily over hurdles at the course in May and the mare is worthy of some interest on a belated debut over the larger obstacles. Rifleman has crept in at the bottom of the weights and though he has been called a few unpleasant names in the past, the veteran cannot be totally dismissed if he decides to put his best hoof forward.
Mzuri Bay 11-1 (11-9) Led, not fluent 4th, headed approaching 2 out, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 13, 4 1/2l behind Mexican Bob (11-4) at Worcester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Jun.
Aqualung (FR) 6-4fav (11-12) Led, headed narrowly 8th, led again 10th, made rest, not fluent 4 out, drew readily clear approaching 2 out, eased flat, won at Worcester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft beating Bobby Bullock (11-4) by 11l, 5 ran.
Foxesbow (IRE) 9-1 (11-9) Prominent, not fluent, lost place and ridden 3rd, behind 6th, tailed off, 11th of 14, well behind Small Fly (11-7) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd.
Officier De Reserve (FR) 8-1 (11-9) Led, mistake and headed 2 out, one pace, 2nd of 7, 3l behind Noble Commander (10-8) at Ffos Las 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Jun.
Dirty Bertie (FR) 7-4fav (11-2) Tracked leader until after 3rd, ridden to retake 2nd and bumped 3 out, led approaching next, headed when mistake last, led again flat, stayed on, won at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft beating Dipity Doo Dah (10-5) by 1l, 5 ran.
Motou (FR) 33-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, not fluent 2nd, ridden 3 out, edged left approaching next, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 13, 7l behind Mexican Bob (11-4) at Worcester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Jun.
An Toileanach (IRE) 6-1 (11-4) Alw rr, mstks 2nd & 5th, to from 6out, pu bef 2out, in a race won by Doctor Pat (11-4) at Athlacca 3m ire ptp in May, 16 ran.
Munlochy Bay 9-1 (11-8) Held up, pushed along 6th, struggling 3 out, plugged on approaching last, no impression, 5th of 9, 16l behind Another Kate (10-10) at Hereford 2m 4f mrs hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Jun.
Bureaucrat 3-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, chased winner before 3 out, not fluent last, kept on and no impression, 2nd of 7, 4 1/2l behind Lost Glory (11-12) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Jun.
Victor Hewgo 12-1 (11-2) In touch, lost place and behind 4th, hit next, headway under pressure after 3 out, stayed on to go moderate 3rd flat, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 14, 14l behind Monkey Milan (11-12) at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Apr.
Kristallo (GER) 12-1 (11-11) Tracked leaders on outside, lost place after 2nd, weakened after 9th, tailed off, 7th of 8, well behind Go Amwell (11-1) at Huntingdon 3m 2f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Nov.
Kahsabelle (FR) 8-1 (11-1) Tracked leaders, ridden after 9th, mistake and no impression 3 out, stayed on flat, 5th of 12, 12l behind Captain Scarlett (11-5) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) hvy.
Rifleman (IRE) 13-2 (11-0) Held up mid-division and keen, headway 5th, tracked leaders 6th, led before 4 out, ridden and headed before last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 10, 4l behind Well Green (11-2) at Towcester 2m 3f 4yo Am hcp 0-100 (5) sft in May.