Towcester second Mont Royale is almost certainly capable of better but may need a stiffer test of stamina. Dr Dalwhinny has claims on last year's form, as has Dougal Philps, while Secret Beau showed promise when third here last month. A market move for Burgravio would be interesting but we'll take a chance on GURKHA BRAVE. Placed twice in bumpers, the drop back to 2m could help Karen McLintock's charge who was second to a 130-rated hurdler at Musselburgh earlier in the year.
Dougal Philps 7-1 (10-9) Led, jumped badly left, headed from 3rd, 2nd 4 out, no extra and fell next, in a race won by Miller Of Glanmire (11-12) at Tramore 2m beg chase hvy in Jan, 7 ran.
Dr Dalwhinny 10-1 (11-0) Towards rear, mistake 3rd, blundered 6th, went 4th from 3 out, no impression, 4th of 8, 21l behind A Tail Of Intrigue (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m NH mdn hdl (5) gd in Jun.
Gurkha Brave (IRE) 13-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders, led 4th, headed before 2 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 5th of 13, 41l behind Slim Pickens (11-0) at Southwell 2m 4f NH mdn hdl (5) gf in Jun.
Maria's Choice (IRE) 20-1 (10-13) Pulled hard early, soon tailed off, last of 9, well behind Such A Legend (10-8) at Chepstow 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Apr.
Mont Royale 5-2 (11-0) Held up in rear, pushed along after 4 out, headway before 2 out, chased winner before last, kept on and always held, 2nd of 7, 2l behind Chebsey Beau (10-2) at Towcester 2m 3f mdn hdl (5) gd in May.
Nimbus Lad (IRE) 2-1 (12-0) Led 3 til hdd aft 14; wknd 3 out; to, 4th of 5, 47l behind Once In A Lifetime (12-0) at Golden Valley 3m ptp fm in May.
Witness Appeal (IRE) 50-1 (10-7) Chased leaders, never jumped well, slow 5th, soon lost place, tailed off when pulled up after 4 out, in a race won by Anteros (11-5) at Ffos Las 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in May, 5 ran.
Burgravio (USA) (9-2) last of 11, 49l behind Kassama (8-12) at Longchamp(FR) 1m 4f 3yo stk sft in Sep (flat).
Secret Beau 20-1 (10-9) Pulled hard in rear, headway 3 out, stayed on well, nearest finish, 3rd of 12, 14l behind Paloma's Prince (10-4) at Worcester 2m cond mdn hdle (4) gf in Jun.