Venetian Lad has enjoyed a splendid time of things so far this season but may now be in the handicapper's grip whilst Full Of Joy has his first run for a year, although the latter is worth monitoring in the market. Lord Tomnoddy is very lightly-raced for a 10-y-o and is hard to assess but is certainly one to keep on the right side. Emperor's Choice and Jacks Grey need to improve on recent efforts whilst Ballybriggan moves into handicap company on the back of a success in a beginners' chase last time and tackles 3m for the first time too. He is interesting but TIGRE D'ARON looks the better option. The topweight ran well on his first outing for ten months when third of 12 to Global Power at Fontwell over 2m4f on his chasing debut. He seems sure to improve for that experience and looks the likeliest improver here, especially as 3m is expected to suit the Nicholls inmate.
Tigre D'aron (FR) 7-2 (11-3) Always prominent, blundered 2nd, every chance 2 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 12, 3 1/2l behind Global Power (11-3) at Fontwell 2m 4f beg chs (4) sft in Oct.
Full Of Joy (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) In touch, headway to chase leaders 10th, went 2nd approaching 3 out, stayed on well from last, always just held, 2nd of 10, nk behind Magot De Grugy (10-9) at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Nov '11.
Balbriggan (IRE) 14-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, led after 3 out, driven out, won at Bangor 2m 4f Beginners Chase (0-110) (4yo+) (4) gs in Oct beating Mentalist (10-7) by 1 1/2l, 15 ran.
Lord Tomnoddy 11-4 (11-0) In rear, soon tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd before 3 out, ridden after last, soon beaten, 2nd of 4, 20l behind Shoegazer (11-0) at Hereford 3m 1f beg chase (5) hvy in May.
Emperor's Choice (IRE) 10-1 (11-3) Held up in touch, reminders before 7th, weakened before 6th, 7th of 11, well behind Safran De Cotte (11-3) at Stratford 2m 7f Beginners Chase (0-125) (4yo+) (3) sft.
Jacks Grey 20-1 (11-9) Held up in rear, headway after 10th, no extra last, 6th of 10, 12l behind On The Bridge (10-8) at Worcester 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Sep.
Venetian Lad 4-5fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 3 out, challenged next, ridden to lead and dived at last, bumped and headed flat, held close home, 2nd of 4, 3/4l behind Kaituna (11-12) at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs.