A market check is always advised ahead of these qualifiers as, even at this stage of the season, trainers will already be eyeing up a tilt at the big prize itself with some of these. There are some decent stayers at the head of the weights and it would be no surprise to see the likes of Captain Sunshine, Cross Kennon and Restless Harry prominent if fully wound-up. On The Bridge, Pure Faith and Benbane Head have been in good form over the summer, as has Mission Complete, while So Fine won at Fontwell two weeks ago. Up For An Oscar landed a decent race over 2m5f at Hexham on his latest start while Sinbad The Sailor made a successful return to hurdling at Chepstow and may be capable of better. Dessie Hughes sent over Action Master to win this 12 months ago and saddles RARE BOB this time. Though better known as a chaser, last year's Grand National fifth is no slouch over timber and potentially well treated. He ran well in a pipe-opener at Gowran and could be the answer to this, though Bangor third Possol has each-way claims again.
Captain Sunshine 11-1 (11-1) Reluctant start, in rear, headway on outside after 3 out, effort after next, went 2nd last, ridden and edged left flat, kept on, held towards finish, 2nd of 24, 1 1/2l behind Holywell (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m lstd hcp hdl (1) gs in Mar.
Cross Kennon (IRE) 33-1 (11-3) Held up in touch, 4th and ridden 3 out, went 3rd flat, stayed on, 3rd of 20, 2 1/4l behind Battle Group (11-9) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in May.
On The Bridge (IRE) 4-1 (11-11) Held up in mid-division, hampered 3rd, not fluent next, headway approaching 9th, stayed on flat, went 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 14, 5l behind Sheriff Hutton (11-0) at Newton Abbot 3m 3f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gf in Aug.
Pure Faith (IRE) 3-1 (11-12) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd 9th, led 2 out, soon clear, eased close home, won at Southwell 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Aug beating High Ville (11-11) by 17l, 8 ran.
Trackmate 14-1 (11-1) Held up towards rear, headway 4 out, led last, ridden clear, ran on well, won at Aintree 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in May beating Howizee (11-5) by 6l, 22 ran.
Restless Harry 20-1 (11-6) With leader, not fluent 3rd, ridden before 5th, lost 2nd 6th, soon driven and in rear, tailed off before 3 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Connectivity (10-5) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Apr, 9 ran.
So Fine (IRE) 9-2 (11-4) Tracked leaders in 3rd, led 5 out, clear before 2 out, wandered and not fluent last, driven out, won at Fontwell 3m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd beating Royal Native (10-5) by 6l, 6 ran.
Benbane Head (USA) 9-2 (11-11) Prominent, ridden and every chance 2 out, no impression on winner before last, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 9, 5l behind Letsby Avenue (11-12) at Stratford 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Sep.
Monetary Fund (USA) 14-1 (10-9) Held up, headway 7th, ridden after 4 out, no impression on leaders from 2 out, 7th of 20, 8l behind Battle Group (11-9) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in May.
Viking Blond (FR) 66-1 (10-0) Mid-division, struggling 9th (valentines), behind from 12th, pulled up before 14th, in a race won by Auroras Encore (10-3) at Aintree 4m 3f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gs in Apr, 40 ran.
Act Of Kalanisi (IRE) 4-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders in 4th, ridden before 2 out, weakened before last, 5th of 7, 9l behind Princely Player (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd.
Kilmacowen (IRE) 7-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, headway over 3f out, ridden and weakened over 1f out, 7th of 11, 7l behind Representingceltic (10-4) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Dec.
Va'vite (IRE) 10-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, stumbled 2nd, hit 4th, headway on outside before 3 out, outpaced after next, went poor 4th final 100 yards, 4th of 7, 12l behind Dark Spirit (9-11) at Ludlow 3m Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-130) (4yo+) (3) gd.
Rare Bob (IRE) 13-2 (11-4) Held up in rear, no impression from 4 out, ridden and kept on one paced straight, 6th of 12, 17l behind Courtncatcher (11-0) at Gowran Park 2m 4f hcp hdl 8Evens30 sft.
Possol (FR) 8-1 (11-8) Held up, pushed along after 7th, struggling next, mistake 3 out, plugged on to take 3rd 2 out, no impression, 3rd of 7, 17l behind General Miller (11-7) at Bangor 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Sep.
Up For An Oscar (IRE) 6-1 (10-11) In touch, headway 3 out, outpaced next, rallied last, ridden to lead closing stages, stayed on well, won at Hexham 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs beating Decoy (11-8) by 2l, 7 ran.
Mission Complete (IRE) 6-5fav (11-5) Led, not fluent 8th, ridden after 4 out, kept on, headed narrowly last, rallied flat, held towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1l behind Benbane Head (11-12) at Ffos Las 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Aug.
Sinbad The Sailor 10-1 (11-5) Held up in rear, headway before 4 out, close 2nd when not fluent 3 out, led next, edged right flat, ridden out, won at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd beating Tarvini (10-7) by 1l, 11 ran.
Qulinton (FR) 7-1 (11-12) Tended to jump left, led, headed approaching 5th, led again 14th, narrowly headed 2 out, 1 length 2nd and looked held when fell last, in a race won by Life Of A Luso (11-10) at Newton Abbot 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gf in Sep, 8 ran.
Tweedledrum 20-1 (10-2) Held up in rear, ridden and struggling after 7th , no impression, 9th of 16, 23l behind Big Time Billy (9-13) at Cheltenham 2m 5f mrs lst hdl (1) gs in Apr.