Soldier On Parade has arguably made the greater progress since beaten six lengths by HICONIC on his hurdling debut at Bangor. But Alex Hales’ prolific mare is now 7lb better off so should confirm the form after a fine run in her prep race on the Flat two weeks ago. Talking About You was beaten easily by the selection at Newton Abbot last month and is much worse off at the weights while Utopian Lad and Poker Master will need massive improvement to figure.
Soldier On Parade 8-11fav (11-3) Made all, clear when hit last, ridden and ran on, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f (4) gd in Aug beating To Fly Free (10-3) by 2 1/2l, 8 ran.
Hiconic 11-10fav (9-5) Tracked leaders, hung left from 3f out, 3rd and one pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 9, 1/2l behind Beat The Heat (9-1) at Lingfield 1m 6f hcp (6) gd in Sep.
Poker Master (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Soon in touch on outside, lost place 4th, well behind from 4 out, 5th of 7, 32 1/2l behind Talking About You (10-5) at Fontwell 2m 2f (4) gd in Sep.
Utopian Lad (IRE) 8-1 (10-10) Led narrowly, veered left 2nd, wandered and headed before 3 out, weakened quickly after, hit last, 6th of 9, dist behind Topkapi Star (10-3) at Uttoxeter 2m (4) gd in Aug.
Talking About You 12-1 (10-5) Made all, hit 4th, clear from 3 out, edged right flat, eased considerably towards finish, won at Fontwell 2m 2f (4) gd in Sep beating Big Jimbo (10-12) by 7l, 7 ran.