Richard Newland must think that ROYALE KNIGHT is badly handicapped over fences now, hence the switch to hurdles. The six-year-old has clearly improved for a spell hunting and may well be good enough to complete his hat-trick under Rules. Kenaleck has been raised 5lb since finishing second in a Worcester seller while chaser Royal Kicks may need this. Jerry Lee would have a chance if back to his best and Terra Bleu could also do better back over hurdles and in a first-time visor but Mangonel was a long way behind the selection over fences last time.
Royal Kicks (FR) 7-1 (10-2) Tracked leader until after 3rd, mistake 5th, lost place after 6th, behind next, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Mexican Bob (10-12) at Worcester 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Jun, 13 ran.
Mangonel 8-1 (11-9) Always last, stumbled and reminder 6th, not fluent and more reminders 9th, lost touch 12th, tailed off, last of 4, 42l behind Royale Knight (10-11) at Fontwell 2m 6f cnd hcp chs (0-95) (5) sft in Oct.
Royale Knight 10-11fav (11-4) Mid-division, headway 12th, went 2nd after 3 out, challenged next, led approaching last, stayed on well, won at Towcester 3m hcp chs 0-95 (5) gf in Oct beating Kilvergan Boy (11-12) by 8l, 16 ran.
Kenaleck (GER) 15-2 (10-13) Tracked leaders, led before 9th, not fluent 2 out, driven and headed when hung left flat, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 13, 2 1/4l behind Sovereign Spirit (11-6) at Worcester 2m 7f sell hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in Oct.
Ashmolian (IRE) 16-1 (10-6) Raced wide, took keen hold in rear, plugged on from after 2 out, kept on well flat, went 5th close home, 5th of 8, 9l behind Geminus (11-9) at Plumpton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Sep.
Terra Bleu (IRE) 15-8 (9-11) Disputed lead until slow 5th, soon ridden, weakened 2 out, modest 3rd, 3rd of 4, 27l behind No No Bingo (11-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft in Oct.
Fitandproperjob 33-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, not fluent 6th, weakened approaching 3 out, 8th of 11, 38l behind Un Bon P'tit Gars (11-4) at Uttoxeter 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) sft in Oct.
Lord Aldervale (IRE) 10-1 (11-5) Raced keenly, tracked leaders, challenged when edged right after 3 out, 6th and outpaced when blundered next, soon weakened, 6th of 9, 38l behind Osmosia (11-9) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in Aug.
Little Roxy (IRE) 3-1fav (10-1) Prominent, led 3rd, headed 4 out, weakened next, 4th of 9, 14l behind Marju King (11-6) at Plumpton 2m hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft in Dec.
What's For Tea 8-1 (10-6) Always behind, tailed off 3 out, last of 8, 44l behind Osmosia (11-7) at Plumpton 2m hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in Sep.
Jerry Lee (IRE) 12-1 (10-1) Held up in rear, headway under pressure 2 out, never on terms, modest 4th, 4th of 7, 20l behind Award Winner (11-6) at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) sft in Oct.