The traditional seller opens proceedings with Caught By Witness the only course and distance winner on show at this particularly idiosyncratic venue. However, the Middleton inmate has been sadly out of form for some time now and a recent Stratford fourth saw him beaten a very long way, albeit in handicap company. Monroe Park travelled well before fading rapidly here last time in a similar contest whilst Ruby Valentine is unlikely to progress at the age of ten. All of which leaves us with TRIBAL DANCE, a solid, reliable and consistent handicapper, whose runner-up performance at Ludlow in a large-field handicap hurdle just five days ago is the best form on offer by some way.
Tribal Dance (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Prominent, led after 2nd, headed 4th, led after next, headed before 8th, every chance 2 out, stayed on same pace flat, 2nd of 17, 2 3/4l behind Kings Apollo (10-1) at Ludlow 2m 5f am hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd.
Arguidos (IRE) 25-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders on outside, weakened before 3 out, mistake 2 out, tailed off, 9th of 11, well behind Scales (11-0) at Ffos Las 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gs in Oct.
Mon Homme 50-1 (11-0) In rear, not fluent 5th, headway after 7th, never on terms, well held from 3 out, 6th of 11, well behind Letsby Avenue (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gd in Jun.
Caught By Witness (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Held up, closed 6th, ridden and outpaced from 2 out, weakened approaching last, 4th of 8, 37l behind Brass Monkey (11-5) at Stratford 2m 6f am hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft in Oct.
Monroe Park (IRE) 14-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders, hit 6th, weakened before last, 4th of 7, 25l behind Persian Herald (11-3) at Fakenham 2m sell hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in Oct.
Ruby Valentine (FR) 50-1 (10-7) Held up towards rear, in rear from 4th, outpaced 4 out, left remote 3rd from last, 3rd of 8, 32l behind Run Along Boy (10-11) at Newton Abbot 2m 3f sell hdl (5) gd in Oct.
Pennant Dancer 33-1 (10-0) Led until 4th, stayed close 2nd, not fluent 8th, 5th and beaten when not fluent 2 out, weakened last, 5th of 12, 27l behind Transfer (11-10) at Worcester 2m 7f sell hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in Oct.