There's not much to split this Handicap Chase field but after a pleasing reappearance on his last start VON GALEN gets the vote ahead of Mealagh Valley and Tanners Court. After spending 335 days away from the racecourse following a victory over timber the selection found just the one too good on his return. He didn't jump that well so might need to improve on that but off the same mark is at least given a chance to do so. Mealagh Valley stays further than this and is progressing nicely after not seeing a racecourse for nearly two years. He made a good fist of things on his chasing bow over course and distance the last time he was in action and based on that he looks off a competitive mark. Tanners Court has been on good form recently and was well held in second off this rating last time. This looks easier and he should be a player. Old Brigade is in with a shout on his first go at jumping the big stuff based on his hurdles form but after such a nice return Von Galen is the pick.
Tanners Court 11-2 (11-7) Led to 2nd, tracked leaders in 3rd, no impression from 3 out, took 2nd flat, no chance with winner, 2nd of 10, 36l behind Grenoli (9-7) at Southwell 3m 2f 5yo nov hcp (4) gd in Apr.
Mealagh Valley (IRE) 7-4 (10-9) Chased winner from 11th, challenged approaching last, kept on, held towards finish, 2nd of 4, 3/4l behind Gilsland (11-5) at Uttoxeter 3m nov chs (4) gf in Apr.
Sordid Secret (IRE) 33-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, no chance approaching 10th, tailed off when pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Magical Harry (10-12) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gd in May, 12 ran.
Old Brigade (IRE) 10-3fav (10-11) Tracked leaders, weakened quickly approaching 2 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Legion D'honneur (11-9) at Huntingdon 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gs in May, 16 ran.
Von Galen (IRE) 10-1 (11-11) Mid-division, not fluent and bumped 11th, headway 13th, chased winner approaching 2 out, no impression, not fluent last, 2nd of 10, 10l behind Overton Lad (10-9) at Towcester 3m hcp chs 0-95 (5) gf in May.
Nodanawink 8-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, ridden after 5th, weakened approaching 2 out, 6th of 11, 18l behind Sir Monty (11-12) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in May.
Safe Investment (USA) 33-1 (10-6) Behind, mistake 10th, headway after 4 out, in touch next, no extra from 2 out, 5th of 13, 12l behind Chicago Alley (10-5) at Market Rasen 2m 4f 5yo nov hcp (4) gd in May.
Haoyunma (IRE) 12-1 (10-4) In rear, pushed along 5th, tailed off when pulled up before 6 out, in a race won by Over The Flow (11-6) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f nov hcp chs 0-100 (4) gd in May, 12 ran.
Midnight Diamond (IRE) 14-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, pushed along after 7th, weakened next, tailed off 10th, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Grenoli (9-7) at Southwell 3m 2f 5yo nov hcp (4) gd in Apr, 10 ran.