BHALTAIR responded to first-time blinkers to win over 2m4f here last week when King Brex was a well-beaten fifth. Henry Brooke takes the ride again and, as that was a conditionals' race, the six-year-old can race off the same mark today - he must take all the beating. Alpha One returned from a break to win at Sedgefield last month but this trip looks on the sharp side while Monarch's Way has only had one run over fences and carries top weight here, though is rated a pound higher over hurdles.
Monarch's Way 20-1 (10-11) Held up in touch, took keen hold, ridden after 3 out, weakened approaching last, 5th of 7, 17l behind Vulcanite (11-0) at Hereford 2m nov chs (4) sft.
Alpha One (IRE) 9-4fav (11-7) Tracked leaders, challenged 4 out, led 2 out, soon clear, stayed on, won at Sedgefield 2m 6f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Nov beating Jurisdiction (11-12) by 7l, 6 ran.
Bhaltair (IRE) 14-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders and keen, blundered 11th, led before 4 out, clear from 2 out, won at Musselburgh 2m 4f Conditional Handicap Chase (0-120) (4yo+) (4) gs beating Exotic Man (10-6) by 3l, 10 ran.
King Brex (DEN) 11-2 (10-8) Towards rear, soon mid-division, hit 8th, went 3rd before 4 out, weakened from 2 out, 5th of 10, 28l behind Bhaltair (11-3) at Musselburgh 2m 4f Conditional Handicap Chase (0-120) (4yo+) (4) gs.
Dream Risk (FR) 7-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, weakened 3 out, 10th of 12, 47l behind Shilpa (10-5) at Fakenham 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) sft.
Morning Time (IRE) 66-1 (10-8) Often jumped left, took keen hold, held up in rear, went left 4th and 6th, went modest 4th after 8th,, 4th of 6, 27l behind Kie (10-7) at Musselburgh 2m beg chs (3) gd in Nov.