It remains to be seen if Samurai Way can recapture his formerly useful form after two years off the track. Noakarad De Verzee isn't getting any younger and was tailed off at Market Rasen earlier this month while Via Sundown looked beaten when falling at Kempton, though would have been placed had he stood up and has more scope than his rivals. ROYAL RIVIERA won over 3m over hurdles but both chase starts have been over shorter trips. He is potentially well treated and can make it third-time lucky over the larger obstacles today, though Chasers Chance didn't do a lot wrong when second to Night Alliance at Ffos Las and won off a higher mark last season.
Noakarad De Verzee (FR) 22-1 (11-4) Close up, ridden when weakened 3 out, 7th of 10, 45l behind Italian Master (11-12) at Market Rasen 3m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft.
Via Sundown (FR) 9-1 (10-4) Mid-division, every chance before 3 out, went 3rd 2 out, held when fell last, in a race won by Annacotty (11-4) at Kempton 3m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs, 10 ran.
Samurai Way 8-1 (11-10) Prominent on outside, not fluent 12th, disputing close 3rd when fell 14th, in a race won by Dont Tell Sailor (11-3) at Leicester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Jan '12, 9 ran.
Best Boy Barney (IRE) 16-1 (11-10) Prominent until after 3rd, mistake and hampered next, soon behind, tailed off when pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Arkaim (11-0) at Towcester 2m nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) gs, 10 ran.
Royal Riviera 2-1 (10-13) Tended to jump right, tracked leading pair, went 2nd 4 out, mistake next, soon no chance with winner, lost 2nd 2 out, plugged on same pace in 3rd, 3rd of 4, 7l behind Get It On (11-5) at Ffos Las 2m 3f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Oct.
Chasers Chance (IRE) 14-1 (10-13) Held up, struggling 14th, stayed on to take 3rd 3 out, went 2nd last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 7, 15l behind Night Alliance (11-1) at Ffos Las 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy.