VOLCANIC ROCK looks interesting on his return to the scene of his last success in August. He travelled really well that day before holding the challenge of Petite Margot who reopposes. The Irish raider looks to have been laid out for this return visit and gets the vote. Petite Margot scored at Perth last time to confirm she's no back number and this grand servant to the Twiston-Davies yard looks a leading contender once again off a most appealing mark. Dark Ben has plenty of weight to shoulder but he's been in generally good heart this year and is another with no stamina question marks. Stagecoach Opal is interesting too and could do very well in these popular veterans' chases.
Dark Ben (FR) 6-1 (11-7) Prominent, close 3rd when stumbled and unseated rider a few strides after 14th, in a race won by Sotovik (10-4) at Perth 3m hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in May, 9 ran.
Dennis The Legend 14-1 (11-8) Always prominent, lost 3rd 4 out, rallied to 3rd after 3 out, challenged from next, upsides last, driven and stayed on gamely to lead towards finish, just held on, won at Towcester 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gf in May beating Ethiopia (10-9) by shd, 8 ran.
Volcanic Rock (IRE) 25-1 (11-11) Close up early, dropped to rear when not fluent 3rd, hung left and jumped left from 9th, no chance when mistake 3 out, tailed off, 6th of 7, 48l behind Home (11-0) at Towcester 2m 3f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gf in May.
Stagecoach Opal 5-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, with leader 3rd, pushed along 7th, weakened before 4 out, 10th of 13, well behind Aibrean (11-11) at Ayr 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Apr.
Petite Margot 13-2 (10-6) Made most until after 16th, led 18th, ridden approaching 3 out, headed narrowly flat, led again close home, just prevailed, game effort, won at Perth 3m 7f hcp chs 0-120 (3) gd in Apr beating Bally Wall (10-12) by ns, 12 ran.
Top Dressing (IRE) 11-4 (10-11) In rear on outer, reminders before 9th, reminders after 13th, weakened from 16th, last of 5, well behind Maid In Moscow (10-4) at Sedgefield 3m 3f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in May.
Oniz Tiptoes (IRE) 11-2 (10-0) Held up mid-division, pushed along before 8th, weakened from 4 out, 9th of 10, 23l behind Patriot (11-2) at Wetherby 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in May.