After being beaten on his bumper debut, OSCAR ROCK won two much better races at Newbury before making a hugely impressive hurdling debut at Wetherby on his reappearance, his first start for Malcolm Jefferson- he'll take some beating here. Five In A Row landed an Irish point last September and could hardly have been more impressive on his opening run for Brian Ellison in a Carlisle bumper last month so looks a threat. Ballyalton has won a point-to-point, two bumpers and a maiden hurdle at Uttoxeter which he did with the utmost ease so he's another who will ensure the likely favourite doesn't have everything his own way. Caledonia won a bumper at Kelso on his debut and ran in the championship race at Cheltenham. He's been running on the Flat this summer and finished a close fourth in a 2m2f handicap at York last time.
Ballyalton (IRE) 2-1 (11-0) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd 4 out, led narrowly next, 3 lengths advantage when left well clear next, unchallenged after (no time taken), won at Uttoxeter 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Oct beating Curzon Line (11-0) by 15l, 14 ran.
Blakemount (IRE) 4-7fav (10-12) Led from 1st, made rest, not fluent 6th, clear before last, kept on well, won at Wetherby 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs beating Sir Mangan (10-12) by 7l, 8 ran.
Kilbree Chief (IRE) 13-8fav (10-5) Made all, ridden clear before last, kept on, driven out, won at Hexham 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft beating Romany Ryme (10-5) by 1 3/4l, 9 ran.
Oscar Rock (IRE) 8-15fav (10-12) Disputed lead, led before 3 out, soon clear, mistake last, ran on strongly, won at Wetherby 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gs beating Run Ructions Run (10-5) by 19l, 10 ran.
Bishops Gate (IRE) 20-1 (11-3) Held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, soon went 3rd, ridden before 2 out, one pace, 3rd of 9, 10l behind Deepsand (10-7) at Ayr 2m mdn hdl (5) hvy in Feb.
Caledonia 28-1 (11-4) Towards rear, headway 3f out, ridden over 2f out, kept on from over 1f out, went 3rd place inside final furlong, 3rd of 19, 4l behind Killyglass (11-4) at Aintree 2m 1f nat hunt flat Grade 2 (1) gs in Apr.
Five In A Row (IRE) 6-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, led over 3f out, clear final furlong, won at Carlisle 2m 1f NH flat (6) gs in Oct beating The Last Samuri (11-0) by 9l, 14 ran.
Master Murphy (IRE) 10-1 (11-5) Always towards rear, 4th of 8, 26l behind Morning Time (11-5) at Hexham 2m hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft.