Given he's already won six times around here, it would be folly to leave Venetian Lad out of calculations as he was in good form at the start of the summer. Domtaline has yet to win for Evan Williams but started favourite at Stratford in August. Town Mouse finished second in that Stratford race and has been knocking on the door but continues to give the impression that he'd do better if eased in distance. Top Cat Henry didn't manage a victory in eight attempts over fences in Ireland and all of his UK starts so far have been over hurdles, though he's still preferred to the disappointing Kitegen and veteran Porters War. But Midnight Lira has the past form to figure and COMEONGINGER (NAP) won the novice handicap on this card 12 months ago. He also won twice at Kempton last season and may have the class to defy top weight.
Comeonginger (IRE) 4-1fav (11-3) Prominent, challenged 11th, not fluent next, led after 14th, headed 4 out, no extra 3 out, 5th when pulled up before next, at Haydock 2m 6f hcp (2) sft in Apr.
Domtaline (FR) 5-2fav (11-9) Tracked leaders, outpaced 3 out, kept on same pace under pressure before last, no impression, 4th of 8, 8 1/2l behind No Likey (11-2) at Stratford 2m 3f hcp (3) gd in Aug.
Midnight Lira 12-1 (11-7) Chased leaders on outside, went 2nd 5th, blundered 5 out, pushed along and lost 2nd before 4 out, still chance when blundered 4 out, weakened next, 6th of 9, dist behind Kilbree Kid (11-4) at Ludlow 3m hcp (3) gd in Apr.
Town Mouse 8-1 (11-1) Pressed leader, disputed lead after 4 out, ridden after 2 out, every chance last, one pace when switched left flat, kept on, held near finish, 2nd of 8, 3/4l behind No Likey (11-2) at Stratford 2m 3f hcp (3) gd in Aug.
Top Cat Henry (IRE) 9-4fav (11-4) In touch, headway 3 out, soon under pressure, never able to challenge, 3rd of 7, 13 1/2l behind One Lucky Lady (11-8) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp (3) gd in Apr.
Venetian Lad 11-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders, went 2nd and ridden after 2 out (normal 3 out), challenged last, soon led, stayed on well, won at Fontwell 2m 5f hcp (4) gs in Jun beating Ladfromhighworth (11-9) by 1 3/4l, 6 ran.
Porters War (IRE) 20-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, headway 5 out, chased leaders after next, stayed on same pace from 2 out, 3rd of 11, 20l behind Dreamsoftheatre (11-9) at Bangor 3m hcp (4) gs in Aug.
Kitegen (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, led 3rd to 5th, tracked leader, lost place 9th, outpaced 4 out, no impression with front trio from 2 out, 4th of 5, 18l behind Dream Bolt (10-12) at Newton Abbot 2m hcp (3) gd in Sep.