Jockey bookings suggest May's Perth winner Kris Cross may be the pick of Lucinda Russell's two runners here ahead of Hexham second The Friary, despite his absence since, but the interesting one could be FORTY CROWN. John Wade's bumper winner was far from disgraced on his hurdles bow at Carlisle and the longer trip seems certain to suit. Catching On has already won between the flags while Milan Royale should improve on his fifth at Market Rasen as he has a nice NH pedigree.
Kris Cross (IRE) 9-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders, headway after 4 out, led 2 out and pressed, challenged run-in, found extra towards finish, won at Perth 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gd in May beating Tepalo (11-0) by 1 1/4l, 15 ran.
Catching On (IRE) 2-1 (11-7) Mostly 2nd, 2l 2nd 5out, ld aftr 3out, 2l adv bef last, row to go clr flat, v impressive, won at Kilworth 3m ire ptp gd in Mar beating Malt Gem (11-7) by 4l, 10 ran.
Chestertern 125-1 (10-12) Always in rear, not fluent, ridden along from 5th, 6th of 7, 35l behind Gevrey Chambertin (11-5) at Haydock 2m 4f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) sft in Nov.
Direct Approach (IRE) 150-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, weakened and dropped rear from 6th, pulled up after 4 out, in a race won by Joseph Mercer (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) sft in Nov, 9 ran.
Forty Crown (IRE) 12-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, blundered 4th, weakened from 2 out, 4th of 7, 16l behind Morning Royalty (10-12) at Carlisle 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Green Wizard (IRE) 125-1 (10-12) In touch on outside, disputed lead 6th, lost place 8th, weakened 2 out, 6th of 13, well behind Maggio (11-5) at Kelso 2m 6f nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Highland Rain 80-1 (10-12) Towards rear, some headway 6th, weakened next, tailed off, 4th of 10, well behind Coneygree (10-12) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Kingston Tiger 16-1 (10-12) Mid-division, hit 1st, headway 4th, jumped left and mistake next, mistake and weakened 3 out, tailed off, 8th of 10, well behind Alfraamsey (11-5) at Kempton 2m 3yo hdl (3) gd in Oct '11.
Malapie (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Alw pr, disp 2out, not qckn with wnr but kow, 2nd of 11, 3l behind Briar Hill (11-7) at Necarne 3m ire ptp sft in May.
Milan Royale 22-1 (10-12) In rear, hit 5th, ridden and outpaced 3 out, 5th of 8, 31l behind Barrakilla (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Sagliere 80-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, tailed off from 9th, pulled up, in a race won by Samstown (10-13) at Perth 3m nh nov hdl (4) gs in May, 8 ran.
The Friary (IRE) 50-1 (10-5) Tracked leaders, chased clear winner before last, no impression, 2nd of 5, 43l behind Fourjacks (10-12) at Hexham 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.