Take Of Shoc's may have been flattered by his margin of victory at Ffos Las last month but is clearly in good form. Batu Ferringhi looks harshly treated on his chasing bow, however, while Fair Bramble needs to improve on what he's shown so far. Suerte Al Salto looked useful when beating Prospect Wells at Fontwell in May but he's been a bit disappointing in two runs this autumn. GEORGE NYMPTON won this last year off a higher mark and it looks as though he's been targeted at the race again. He gets the nod, though Sublime Talent has also dropped to a favourable mark and shouldn't be far away.
Suerte Al Salto (IRE) 7-1 (11-0) Prominent, ridden after 9th, not fluent when one pace 4 out, weakened flat, 6th of 11, 13l behind Oyster Shell (10-13) at Ludlow 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Nov.
Batu Ferringhi (FR) 4-1 (10-12) Led until 4th, not fluent and left in lead next, driven 2 lengths clear when mistake last, ridden out, won at Ffos Las 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Nov beating Rolling Maul (10-12) by 1l, 8 ran.
Sublime Talent (IRE) 20-1 (10-9) Held up, blundered 7th, soon in rear, headway 4 out, never on terms, moderate 4th, 4th of 8, 38l behind Silver Roque (11-9) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Nov.
George Nympton (IRE) 16-1 (11-10) Prominent on outside, not fluent 4 out, ridden and beaten before 2 out, weakened approaching last, 6th of 8, 20l behind Rockchasebullett (10-6) at Warwick 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Nov.
Mam Ratagan 16-1 (11-9) Raced freely, led, mistake 7th, headed 3 out, beaten next, lost battle for modest 3rd flat, 4th of 5, 18l behind Be All Man (11-11) at Lingfield 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Nov.
Mr Muddle 9-4 (11-12) Led, hit 4th and 6th, headed next, led again 9th, pressed from 2 out, driven out, gamely, won at Plumpton 2m 1f hcp ch 0-110 (4) sft in Mar beating Petit Ecuyer (11-5) by 1/2l, 5 ran.
Take Of Shoc's (IRE) 15-8fav (11-12) Made all, pressed 3 out, clear after 2 out, went left last, eased towards finish, won at Ffos Las 2m hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy in Nov beating Amaury De Lusignan (11-5) by 10l, 4 ran.
Twoways (IRE) 10-1 (11-1) Mid-division, not fluent 5th, headway 8th, outpaced before 2 out, rallied flat, went 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 7, 3 1/2l behind Arkaim (11-5) at Huntingdon 2m nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Nov.
Un Anjou (FR) 3-1 (10-9) Held up in touch, pushed along before 5 out, weakened before 3 out, went left next, 6th of 10, 26l behind Umberto D'olivate (11-2) at Chepstow 2m 3f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Nov.
Fair Bramble 3-1 (11-5) Jumped right, led, screwed 1st, pushed along and headed after 4 out, chased winner, no impression when lost 2nd 2 out, kept on same pace in 3rd, 3rd of 4, 7l behind Midnight Macarena (11-0) at Southwell 2m 4f (4) sft in Nov.
Topthorn 7-1 (10-4) Held up in rear, ridden after 5 out, never dangerous, 7th of 8, well behind Zarzal (11-11) at Ludlow 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Nov.