The well-named FORMIDABLEOPPONENT once looked a smart prospect in Ireland but lost his way until an incredible recent revival. Saturday's victory at Ayr was his fifth in succession and, as he showed no signing of wear and tear, a 7lb penalty doesn't look enough to prevent victory number six. Rivabodiva looked as though a victory was imminent when running well at Perth and started favourite at Hexham next time but disappointed. Boss In Boots won between the flags in March but has been well beaten over fences in recent weeks so Proud Gamble looks more of a threat. Rose Dobbin's charge won over the course and distance in February and at Market Rasen in August and still looks on a lenient mark. Foot The Bill is a real staying type who could do with some rain on his return after a break.
Formidableopponent (IRE) 5-2fav (11-1) Towards rear, headway before 6 out, went 3rd before 4 out, led before last, kept on well, won at Ayr 2m 5f hcp (4) gd in Oct beating Harleys Max (10-7) by 3 3/4l, 8 ran.
Rivabodiva (IRE) 7-2jfav (11-11) Mid-division, soon chased leaders, went 3rd from 2 out, weakened before last, 5th of 10, 18 1/4l behind Quick Brew (11-5) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp (4) gd in Oct.
Boss In Boots (IRE) 7-2 (11-3) In rear, struggling 6th, soon lost touch, tailed off, 5th of 6, dist behind The Yank (11-4) at Newton Abbot 2m hcp (4) gd in Oct.
Mollies Gent (IRE) 18-1 (11-12) Led until 2nd, tracked leader until 8th, 3rd 3 out, no extra in 4th from next, 4th of 12, 27l behind Yanmare (10-0) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp (5) gs in Oct.
Trillerin Minella (IRE) 25-1 (11-12) Often niggled along, prominent, carried right 1st, outpaced after 12th, weakened next, 5th of 6, dist behind Formidableopponent (10-12) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp (5) gd in Sep.
Foot The Bill 11-1 (10-4) Always towards rear, 7th of 10, dist behind Scotswell (11-10) at Kelso 3m 2f hcp (4) gd in May.
Proud Gamble (IRE) 14-1 (11-4) Rear division, headway 6 out, ridden to chase winner before last, kept on and always held, 2nd of 12, 7l behind Runswick Days (10-4) at Kelso 2m 7f hcp (5) gs in Oct.
Jewellery (IRE) 50-1 (10-8) Led to 5 out, weakened from next, tailed off 3 out, 11th of 13, dist behind Bassarabad (11-12) at Kelso 2m 7f hcp (5) gs in Oct.
Colorado Kid (IRE) 16-1 (10-13) Tracked leaders, lost place before 10th, pulled up 4 out, tailed off and soon pulled up, at Kelso 2m 7f hcp (5) gs in Oct.
No Such Number 15-2 (10-0) Towards rear, not much room 1st, mistake 13th, headway 4 out, 4th and no extra last, 4th of 8, 24l behind Mad Money (10-10) at Perth 3m hcp (4) gs in Sep.
Arboretum 8-1 (10-6) Mid-division, not fluent 6th or 7th, headway when blundered badly 14th, weakened 3 out, pulled up before 2 out, at Uttoxeter 3m hcp (5) gs in Oct.