Allerton has a year's absence and a career-high mark to overcome in this but still looks a better bet than many of his rivals. Nouailhas has been placed at Southwell and Worcester lately and Ally Stirling's claim negates the fact that he's a pound out of the handicap but this looks much too sharp for Plum Pudding and Darnborough's form has gone to pieces since he won at Southwell in June. Autumm Spirit has been pulled up three times in a row and needs fast ground while Hinton Indiana's recent record is even less impressive. RIDDLESTOWN is a tentative selection in the hope that better ground will see his jumping improve. He was placed over hurdles on a soft surface and is a little less exposed than most.
Allerton (IRE) 5-2fav (11-3) Tracked leaders in 3rd, led before 3 out, headed 3 out, kept on towards finish, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Chasers Chance (11-5) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gs in Oct '12.
Hinton Indiana 5-1 (12-0) Tracked leaders, pushed along 12th, weakened 4 out, behind when pulled up before last, in a race won by Findlay's Find (11-7) at Bangor 3m nov hts chs (6) gd in May, 8 ran.
Plum Pudding (FR) 20-1 (11-2) Mid-division, chased leaders 12th, weakened 4 out, 6th of 17, 34l behind Addiction (11-1) at Exeter 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Apr.
Riddlestown (IRE) 14-1 (11-9) Soon in last pair, headway to chase leaders 9th, hit 10th, every chance when hit 4 out, weakened before 2 out, 4th of 7, 14l behind Fearless Leader (11-7) at Plumpton 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-105 (4) gf in Sep.
Autumm Spirit 20-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders in 3rd, weakened 4 out, pulled up soon after, in a race won by Dark Energy (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 2f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gf in Jul, 7 ran.
Peak Seasons (IRE) 8-1 (10-3) Disputed lead until blundered badly and unseated rider 2nd, in a race won by Civil Unrest (11-1) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gd, 6 ran.
Darnborough (IRE) 9-1 (10-1) Led until 1st, with leader, left in lead 3rd, not fluent 9th or 12th, ridden after 4 out, 5 lengths clear when fell last, in a race won by Brimham Boy (10-12) at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) gd in Sep, 9 ran.
Nouailhas 33-1 (10-0) Took keen hold, soon handy on outside, led before 4 out, not fluent at fence and saddle slipped, headed 3 out, blundered last, one pace and no impression on winner flat, 2nd of 11, 9l behind The Nephew (12-1) at Worcester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd in Sep.