Of the Tony McCoy rides on the card, POP AHEAD looks his best chance, and is selected here ahead of Nemetan and Justa Jaffa. Jonjo O'Neill's runner broke his maiden last time out over further at Leicester after being held up, before staying on well. That was at a similar grade, and with half a stone in hand over top weight Nematan, looks to be the percentage call. The Allner's runner is versatile and handles any sort of ground. Only out of the first two twice in his last ten outings, including falling at the last when well in contention last time out, he's bound to attract some support. Venetia Williams' string are in good form, and Just Jaffa should be fine too with some cut in the ground, although he's yet to confirm the promise shown when winning on his chase debut. He's had plenty of schooling though, having not run since March. A number here have a realistic chance, but we think the one that can pop ahead is, Pop Ahead.
Nemetan (FR) 5-1 (11-3) In touch, chased leader after 6th, ridden approaching 3 out, chased winner 2 out, beaten when fell in race won by Deep Pockets (11-7) at Exeter 2m 5f amt hcp hdl 0-100 (4) sft in Dec, 17 ran.
Idris (GER) 12-1 (10-9) Held up, headway 10th, ridden approaching 2 out, hit last, no extra, 4th of 8, 11l behind Pretty Star (10-2) at Fontwell 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Dec.
Midnight Gold 9-1 (11-11) Mid-division, headway 7th, ridden 12th, weakened after 13th, 7th of 13, 33l behind Fresh Air And Fun (11-5) at Ludlow 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft.
Pop Ahead (IRE) 4-1 (11-11) Held up in rear, headway approaching 4 out, went 2nd 2 out, challenged last, edged left flat, stayed on under strong pressure to lead near finish, won at Leicester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gd in Nov beating Breiz Dream's (11-10) by 1/2l, 1.
Just Jaffa (IRE) 5-2fav (10-5) In touch until weakened approaching 3 out, 5th of 8, 26l behind Ruairi (11-9) at Market Rasen 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Apr.
Thedreamstillalive (IRE) 9-2co-fav (11-9) Prominent, went 2nd after 3 out going well, ridden when hampered by loose horse and switched right before 2 out, weakened approaching last, 5th of 15, 16l behind Low Delta (11-12) at Towcester 2m 3f amt hcp hdl (5) sft.
Noble Bily (FR) 8-1 (11-8) Held up in rear, headway approaching 9th, weakened 3 out, tailed off when pulled up in race won by Mr Big (10-7) at Uttoxeter 2m 6f hcp chs 0-110 (4) hvy, 10 ran.
Spartan Place 6-1 (11-7) Blundered 2nd, always in rear, tailed off, 6th of 14, 42l behind Maori Legend (11-5) at Folkestone 3m 1f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gs.