1.45: ROAD RACER struck top form on Newbury's firm surface a fortnight ago and, if the ground continues to dry out, this fluent jumper will prove hard to beat. Fataliste is likely to set a fierce pace, which could play into the hands of Shankar. The latter's recent form figures look dismal, but this grey invariably performs well on this tight track and won the race two years ago.
2.20: Celibate, Green Green Desert and Cumbrian Challenge all finished out of the frame in the two-mile Champion Chase at Cheltenham last month. Of the trio, GREEN GREEN DESERT might be best suited by this very different course. Flying Instructor needs rain to enhance his chance.
2.55: ISTABRAQ was turned over by Pridwell when odds-on in this contest last year. But another shock defeat looks extremely unlikely on this faster surface. Charlie Swan's mount won with such authority at Cheltenham last time that it seems futile to oppose him.
3.45: Unless heavy rain arrives, mud-lovers such as Fiddling The Facts, General Wolfe and Kendal Cavalier could struggle. Call It A Day, in contrast, has a preference for good ground. Taken with the fact that he has the most stamina-laden pedigree on view, Richard Dunwoody's mount has the best credentials in the race. But the 25-1 available for COOME HILL this morning is far more tempting. Flops on his latest two runs were down to heavy ground. Back on a faster surface, he can make a triumphant return to form. Bells Life and Avro Anson are rank outsiders whose prospects are not remote.
1.10: TOP GEM won on good-to-soft ground at Leicester last week. Today's more testing turf should not prevent a follow-up.
1.40: TOP OF THE CLASS, the most experienced runner in this field, can make it third-time lucky.
2.10: Easter Ogil, with Kieren Fallon booked, will be popular but better value may be found with JEFFREY ANOTHERRED. Fergal Lynch's mount is a course winner and likes the mud.
2.40: This slog will be up The Butterwick Kid's street, but the Fallon- ridden BRANDON COURT should just have his measure.Reuse content