WEATHER FRONT got within two lengths of the well-regarded Good Boy Bobby at Carlisle on his hurdles reappearance, before winning comfortably at Hexham earlier this month. Karen McLintock's five-year-old must rate as the one to beat here despite conceding weight all round. Ruth Jefferson's horses have been tending to need the run on their first outing, so it would be no surprise to see the stable's youngster Raecius Felix improve on his opening showing, while Jedd O'Keeffe's useful Flat performer Remember The Days chased home some decent rivals on his first hurdles run and is respected.
Chozen made a bright start to chasing life when winning a trappy Southwell affair last month, but faces a much tougher task following a steep-looking 9lb rise. That opens the door for COUSIN OSCAR, who has failed to convince over fences so far, but has an ever-decreasing mark to compete off here. Free Range will need to step up on his recent form to figure.
KOVERA romped to success by 18 lengths over fences at Sedgefield last time and makes plenty of appeal switching back to timber racing off the same mark. Bertie Blake steps up in trip following a near-miss over 2m4f at Sedgefield and needs respect representing the thriving Philip Kirby stable, while Coisa Blanco could improve for the change of scenery having joined Oliver Greenall.
BRAVE SPARTACUS showed plenty of enthusiasm when fourth to Nightfly at Wetherby at the start of the month and a 4lb drop looks very fair from the handicapper. This looks the easiest assignment he has encountered for a while and he can prove too strong for Jet Master, who ran well at a big price when third at Carlisle last time, and Ulis De Vassy, who has a lot to prove.
RUBYTWO probably needed her first outing after a four-month absence when fourth at Perth to Make My Heart Fly at the end of September, and she looks more than capable of taking a decent step forward from that effort in what looks a winnable race on paper. Terminal One has a first-time hood after finishing third in a Sedgefield bumper in March, while a pair of cheekpieces could assist Rococo Style, who was unlucky when cannoned into at Market Rasen last time.
DAWNIERIVER remains on a nice mark here and ran a big race at Uttoxeter when second following a break and a wind operation last time out. That run is sure to have brought the eight-year-old on plenty, and she can take advantage of a low weight here to score. Expresstime hasn't beaten many home in recent times but does have Brian Hughes on board this time, while Sheneededtherun is from the same stable as the selection but looks to be second choice.
Nicky Richards is 4-8 with bumper runners at Newcastle in the last five years and the Rich Ricci-owned WILHELM VONVENSTER is fancied to make a winning debut for the Cumbrian-based trainer. Related to plenty of winners in France, the son of Apsis can prove too strong for Malystic, whose trainer can ready one in this sphere, and Just Call Me Al, who looks best of those with prior racecourse experience.
WEATHER FRONT has made a bright start over hurdles, scoring with relative ease at Hexham last week, and he can defy a penalty. Remember The Days and hurdles-debutant Point Break may well emerge as the leading threats.
CHOZEN improved immediately for the switch to fences when making a winning start at Southwell last month and can follow up in this small-field affair. Cousin Oscar can provide the main threat.
KOVERA has improved for the switch to chasing of late, scoring with relative ease at Sedgefield earlier this month. Operating from the same mark, he could be worth chancing to strike back over smaller obstacles in this sort of form. Permission Granted and Bertie Blake are next best, in that order.
BRAVE SPARTACUS showed he still retains a fair bit of ability at Wetherby 2 weeks ago and the handicapper has given him a big chance. Jet Master is feared most.
Bumper-winner RUBYTWO should have learnt plenty from her Perth hurdles debut and looks to have been found a good opportunity to open her account in this sphere. Rococo Style may give her most to think about.
DAWNIERIVER is becoming well handicapped and showed clear signs that she's ready to take advantage at Uttoxeter 2 weeks ago. Her stablemate Sheneededtherun rates the bigger threat.
WILHELM VONVENSTER stands out given his connections and pedigree and he may not need to be anything out of the ordinary to make a winning debut. Just Call Me Al is entitled to build on his opening effort back from 7 months off, while Dothraki Prince is another newcomer to keep an eye on in the betting.