Howizee must go close in this if taking to the larger obstacles as he has finished second in competitive handicap hurdles at Ayr and Aintree in his last two starts. Kris Cross can only improve on a distant fourth at Perth while stablemate Bobble Hat Bob won at Kelso last month, though has more on his plate here. BALDING BANKER'S easy victory over course and distance last time was long overdue and it should have given his confidence a boost. With Tony Kelly's claim accounting for the majority of his penalty, he looks the one to beat again.
Balding Banker (IRE) 15-8fav (10-7) In touch in 4th, went 2nd before 4 out, led 3 out, clear 2 out, kept on well, won at Hexham 2m 7f nov chs (4) gd in May beating Brady (10-12) by 34l, 10 ran.
Bobble Hat Bob (FR) 12-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, steady headway from 9th, went 2nd after 3 out, challenged 2 out, soon led, stayed on well, won at Kelso 3m 2f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in May beating Carrigdhoun (11-11) by 3l, 10 ran.
Bucklemyshoe (IRE) 100-1 (10-12) Took keen hold, led 1st until before 7th, mistake next, soon weakened, 5th of 6, well behind Grey Soldier (10-12) at Cartmel 2m 1f nov chs (4) gf in May.
Have You Had Yours (IRE) 80-1 (10-5) Mid-division, weakened from 4 out, 6th of 11, 39l behind Loose Preformer (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gd in May.
Howizee 10-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, led 9th, ridden and headed last, no impression on winner flat, 2nd of 22, 6l behind Trackmate (11-1) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in May.
Kingdom Of Munster (IRE) 13-2 (10-12) Held up in last pair, outpaced 3 out, well beaten from next, tailed off, 6th of 7, well behind Clouds Of Mist (10-6) at Cartmel 2m 6f nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) sft in May.
Kris Cross (IRE) 11-4 (10-12) Tracked leaders, hit 10th, mistake 13th, jumped slowly and outpaced next, weakened before 3 out, 4th of 7, well behind Imperial Vic (10-12) at Perth 3m nov chs (4) gd in May.
Paddy The Plumber (IRE) 2-1 (12-5) (cp) chsd wnr til wknd aft 4 out, 5th of 10, 33l behind Quix (12-5) at Border 2m 4f ptp sft in May.
Red Myst (IRE) 13-2 (11-5) Chased leaders, mistake 1st, fell next, in a race won by Molten Brown (11-5) at Cartmel 2m 5f Am mdn chs (6) sft in May, 9 ran.
Tom's Pride (IRE) Evens (12-5) Ap; led app 3 out; stayed on, won at Border 3m ptp sft in May beating Yerwot (12-5) by 1 1/2l, 6 ran.
Just Maddie 80-1 (10-2) Chased leading pair to 3rd, dropped to rear 3 out, no chance after, tailed off, 4th of 5, well behind Kaolak (11-0) at Hexham 2m sell hdl (5) gf.