DUHALLOW GESTURE took advantage of a drop in class to win easily at Fontwell last time and could still be ahead of the assessor off a mark of 131. The seven-year-old should just about stay this extra furlong or so and appeals more than Aimee De Sivola, who is still a maiden over hurdles and proving hard to win with, and Rubytwo, who is consistent and should enjoy stepping back up in distance.
Cause Toujours has found one too good on the last three occasions and doubts remain over his resolution at the finish, while Hijran has won with a bit in hand the last twice but might want easier ground than this ideally. The most appealing option is CUBSWIN, who enjoyed the run of the race when winning a decent handicap at Wincanton recently. Richard Johnson rides once more and a 4lb rise doesn't look too harsh.
The Paddy Pie hasn't finished outside of the first two on his last four starts and could find something extra now back up in trip, while Uhlan Bute returned to form when outrunning his odds to finish fourth at Ascot 20 days ago. It is hard to ignore the unexposed QUARENTA, though, who has twice won at Warwick by fine margins this season. A 5lb rise from last time doesn't look too harsh and a sound surface is clearly essential for him.
TRIXSTER wasn't disgraced when seventh in the EBF Final at Sandown last month and he can find further improvement as he steps back up from that 2m4f trip. Tim Vaughan's gelding has been very consistent throughout the campaign and he can account for the likes of Court Liability, who is fancied to bounce back to form in first-time cheekpieces, and Skidoosh, who is better than showing on his most recent outing at Newbury.
The Bay Birch (first) got the better of DAUPHINE EREINE (second) when the pair met at Bangor last month but David Pipe's mare is taken to reverse that form as she is 8lb better off at these weights. Molly Carew was disappointing at Carlisle when last seen having made a bad mistake at a crucial stage and, if her jumping holds up, she is entitled to bounce back to her best.
PRINCETON ROYALE had Vivas back in third when scoring at Ascot late last month and having jumped with expert precision to make virtually all that day, he could be capable of confirming his superiority and following up off just a 2lb higher rating. Enola Gay landed the victory he had been threatening at Wincanton latest and has to be respected in opposition, while Copper West and Irish raider A Place Apart are both players in a trappy affair.
Heavy going was the undoing of LOUGH DERG FARMER at Uttoxeter when plugging on for sixth in useful company last time and he has a chance to bounce back to the form of his impressive Carlisle rout now reverting to good ground. Zerachiel was a 15-length winner of this race last season but faces a tougher task now 10lb higher, while Ziga Boy and Straidnahanna are respected, although both may be more effective elsewhere.
MISTY BLOOM has a progressive profile and given there's a chance she could come on a bit for her latest start back from 12 weeks off, she gets the nod in an open race. Duhallow Gesture looks the type to win more handicaps, while Martila and Aimee de Sivola are others with claims.
In a wide-open heat CASA TALL may be worth siding with to provide Tom George with a second win in this in the last 3 years. He moved well until his stamina gave out over 2½m at Cheltenham last time and had shaped well when second at Chepstow prior to that. Bhutan also ran a nice trial for this when third in that same Chepstow race and heads the dangers along with Cause Toujours and Ming Dynasty.
THE PADDY PIE remains unexposed over staying trips and looks set for a big run having won here earlier in the season. Quarenta and Duel At Dawn are a couple of the chief dangers.
A tricky handicap in which it could be worth giving another chance to DJANGO DJANGO. He landed a gamble in a qualifier at Chepstow in November under his excellent conditional and this will be just his second run since. Ian Williams has a strong hand, with Faithful Mount perhaps his best chance. Trixster is another worthy of respect.
DAUPHINE EREINE is on a fair mark and is taken to reverse Bangor form with The Bay Birch and land this valuable pot. Troubled Soul could be another set for a big run.
DENTLEY DE MEE leaves the impression he'll still prove himself to be a useful chaser and this could be the day it all comes together. A Place Apart is feared most ahead of Ascot-winner Princeton Royale.
Tricky stuff with a chance taken on STRAIDNAHANNA off a fair mark in the hope he can get into a good rhythm out in front. Big runs from the last 2 winners of this, Zerachiel and Mustmeetalady, wouldn't surprise.