Charlie Swan's Strongpoint is the clear pick of the two runners from Ireland over Iwilltellyouwhen having run well on his British debut at Ffos Las earlier this month off a 5lb higher mark than he races off today and has to be respected but preference is for SONARA. Howard Johnson's gelding disappointed when last seen over hurdles in March but he has shown improved form on the flat since then and he looks worth siding with jockey Daryl Millar able to claim an additional 3lbs as he is riding for his own stable. Martin Todhunter's Grand Union is less exposed than most of these after just five starts and has to be considered, while Wor Rom has yet to translate bumper form to hurdles but has claims off a low mark. Auberge made a pleasing return at Sedgefield in September and is another worthy of a mention but Sonara looks the one to side with.
Strongpoint (IRE) 10-1 (10-0) Led until 6th, remained prominent hit 7th, led again 5 out, approaching last soon weakened, 3rd of 9, 13l behind Factotum (11-4) at Ffos Las 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd.
Iwilltellyouwhen (IRE) 25-1 (10-1) Always towards rear, 16th of 25, 33l behind Operation Houdini (10-1) at Navan 2m 7f hcp hdl 8Evens09 hvy.
Hill Billy Rock (IRE) 25-1 (11-2) Hit 1st, mid-division on outside, lost place 4 out, soon weakened, last of 13, well behind Still At Lunch (11-5) at Kelso 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gs.
Grand Union (IRE) 50-1 (10-12) Held up, headway 3 out, ridden next, one pace approaching last, 6th of 13, 13l behind Meridian City (10-12) at Aintree 2m 4f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gd in Oct.
Wor Rom (IRE) 14-1 (11-3) Held up, effort 2 out, weakened last, 5th of 9, 16l behind Mystified (11-0) at Kelso 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-90 (4) gd in Oct.
Sonara (IRE) 22-1 (10-2) Always behind, tailed off when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Percutant (11-8) at Musselburgh 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gf in Mar, 11 ran.
Bayfirth (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Close up, led approaching 4 out, headed 3 out, soon weakened, 6th of 12, 50l behind Dukeofchesterwood (11-5) at Newcastle 3m hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gs.
Auberge (IRE) 7-1 (11-3) Prominent on outside, not fluent 3rd, outpaced after 3 out, plugged on from 2 out, went 3rd flat, 3rd of 11, 14l behind Pugnacity (10-11) at Sedgefield 2m 5f cond nov hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gf in Sep.
Glen Rouge (IRE) 50-1 (10-1) Chased leader, led after 3rd to next, led 6th to approaching 7th, struggling after next, soon lost touch, tailed off, 8th of 9, well behind Tarvini (11-1) at Wetherby 2m 6f cond hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Oct.
Crystal Runner 66-1 (10-4) Raced keenly in mid-division, tracked leaders 2nd, weakened before 3 out, 8th of 12, 38l behind Cinaman (10-3) at Carlisle 3m 1f am nov hcp hdl 0-90 (5) sft.
Spare Days 40-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, weakened over 1f out, last of 10, 38l behind Nocturnal Knight (10-12) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Billsgrey (IRE) 66-1 (10-0) Towards rear, blundered badly and unseated rider 5th, in a race won by I'm Your Man (11-6) at Hexham 2m hcp ch 0-95 (5) gd in May, 12 ran.