AUSTRALIA DAY looks a much improved performer these days and while this is no gimme, he has been kept on the go on the flat in decent handicaps and should not want for match fitness. Katchit is a former winner of the Champion Hurdle. He did not look particularly in love with the game last season and having previously aimed at the World Hurdle, this drop in trip is something of a surprise. Noble Alan was a progressive novice chaser last term though this is a long way to come down for a pipeopener. Farleigh House was a former Sir Mark Prescott inmate on the flat who having run disappointingly at the Boxing Day fixture, was promptly roughed off for the season.
Australia Day (IRE) 7-1 (11-5) Made all, clear approaching 2 out, unchallenged, easily, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gd in Jul beating Gloucester (11-1) by 19l, 17 ran.
Katchit (IRE) 14-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, effort under pressure 2 out, soon ridden, weakened last, 11th of 14, 49l behind Big Buck's (11-10) at Cheltenham 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Noble Alan (GER) 7-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway on inner approaching 6th, chased winner after 5 out, weakened after 2 out, 6th of 10, 28l behind Tataniano (11-4) at Aintree 2m nov chs G1 (1) gd in Apr.
Spider Boy 12-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders, pushed along approaching 4th, outpaced from 7th, left poor 3rd 4 out, never dangerous, 3rd of 8, well behind King Raven (11-7) at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in Jun.
Farleigh House (USA) 28-1 (11-5) Mid-division, lost place before 3 out, last of 8, well behind Menorah (11-5) at Kempton 2m nh nov hdl (2) gs in Dec.
Rock Me (IRE) 5-2fav (11-6) Mid-division, ridden after 8th, chased leaders under pressure 3 out, kept on same pace from next, never on terms, 4th of 12, 8l behind Strumble Head (10-3) at Plumpton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gf in Sep.