River Dragon is in good form and has won over hurdles since beating Generous Dream by more than two lengths on heavy ground at Newcastle. Last year's winner Orsippus and Cape Tribulation are both decent hurdlers who should be staying on when others have cried enough. The former had French Hollow behind when scoring at Pontefract in June, though the latter is 5lb better off here and chased home Los Nadis in the mud at Ayr last month off today's mark when Asker was back in third. It's more than a year since BECAUSEWECAN was in the winner's enclosure but he can race off a 14lb lower mark now and has shown enough on occasions this year to suggest he retains his enthusiasm. He could be allowed to start at generous odds for this. Mashaari is the only three-year-old trying his luck over this marathon trip but he's probably best watched after a couple of months off.
Asker (IRE) 7-2fav (8-12) Held up towards rear, headway over 5f out, ridden and carried head awkward and hung left over 2f out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 9, 6l behind Los Nadis (7-13) at Ayr 2m 1f hcp (3) hvy in Sep.
Fork Handles 14-1 (9-3) Held up in rear, headway over 3f out, chased leaders over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 12, 9l behind Lady Loch (8-6) at Haydock 1m 2f flls hcp 0-130 (3) hvy in Sep.
Orsippus (USA) 7-1 (9-6) Always towards rear, eased over 1f out, 8th of 11, 50l behind Red Orator (8-4) at Ascot 2m hcp 0-95 (3) sft.
Cape Tribulation 5-2fav (9-12) Held up towards rear, headway from 7f out, ridden over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 17, 21l behind Cloudy Spirit (9-4) at York 2m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in May.
French Hollow 6-1 (8-7) Held up towards rear, headway over 4f out to chase leaders, went 2nd over 1f out, kept on and no chance with winner, 2nd of 9, 2 1/2l behind Los Nadis (7-13) at Ayr 2m 1f hcp (3) hvy in Sep.
Valid Reason 9-1 (9-5) Chased leaders, pushed along over 5f out, ridden over 4f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 11, 11l behind Red Orator (8-4) at Ascot 2m hcp 0-95 (3) sft.
Astromagick 66-1 (8-12) Mid-division, lost place over 5f out, behind and eased final 3f, tailed off, 12th of 13, well behind Caucus (9-3) at Newmarket 2m Listed stks 3yo (1) gd in Sep.
Hawridge Star (IRE) 13-2 (9-7) In rear, ridden and headway over 2f out, kept on inside final furlong, 3rd of 7, 1l behind Saborido (9-13) at Kempton 2m hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Sep.
Mashaari (IRE) 2-5fav (9-1) Led and set decent pace, pushed along 3f out, driven and headed 2f out, outpaced to 3rd over 1f out, no extra, 3rd of 10, 4 1/2l behind Zenaat (8-10) at Lingfield 1m 4f mdn stks (5) pol in Jul.
Becausewecan (USA) 9-2 (9-7) Chased leaders in 5th, lost place over 5f out, soon weakened, 7th of 9, 31l behind Albert Bridge (9-12) at Ayr 1m 5f hcp 0-90 (3) hvy in Sep.
Bradbury (IRE) 28-1 (8-2) Towards rear, headway over 3f out, ridden and kept on one pace final 2f, 6th of 18, 8l behind Domination (8-9) at Newmarket 2m 2f hcp 105 (2) gf in Sep.
River Dragon (IRE) 13-2 (9-3) Made all, ridden inside final furlong, kept on gamely, won at Newcastle 2m hcp 0-75 (5) sft beating Generous Dream (9-3) by 2 1/4l, 11 ran.
Waterford Star (IRE) 8-1 (9-11) Mid-division, ridden and struggling over 4f out, well behind over 2f out, switched right over 1f out, ran on well inside final furlong, nearest finish, 4th of 15, 8l behind Jawaab (9-9) at Pontefract 2m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Sep.
Generous Dream 11-2 (9-3) Tracked winner, pushed along over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, kept on, 2nd of 11, 2 1/4l behind River Dragon (9-3) at Newcastle 2m hcp 0-75 (5) sft.
Tiny Temper (IRE) 12-1 (8-12) Mid-division, headway over 3f out, went 3rd over 1f out, kept on, 3rd of 11, 5l behind The Baronet (9-3) at Musselburgh 1m 5f hcp 0-80 (4) gs in Sep.