12:30- Kings Palace marked himself down as an exciting prospect when beating Sausalito Sunrise on the Old Course at the Open meeting, impressing with his strong-travelling, bold-jumping style. He could be destined for the top of the novice ranks and has to be included in the permutation. The fact only four go to post makes things tricky, though, as Sausalito Sunrise has an 8 lb swing in the weights and is a likeable, steadily-progressive horse representing a stable in flying form, so it would be little surprise were he to reverse the form on these terms. He too should be added to the Placepot.
13:05- The rangy Gallery Exhibition always had the look of a horse that would benefit for going chasing, and he has shown improved form since switched to fences. He won an uncompetitive event at Catterick last time, but the manner of the victory suggested that he hasn't stopped progressing yet, and the booking of Nico de Boinville is an obvious positive. He is joined in the permutation by Hollow Blue Sky as he wasn't disgraced here last time over a wholly inadequate trip and a repeat of the form he showed at Wincanton on his prior start would give him strong claims.
13:40- Starluck is getting on in years and clearly isn't the force of old, though he has been given a chance by the handicapper and his respectable efforts this season suggest he can be competitive off his reduced mark. Nico de Boinville takes off a further 3 lb and a bold showing could be on the cards. It could also be worth siding with Goohar as he is still relatively lightly raced and produced a fair effort on his return at Exeter, never a threat but plugging on in the style of one that may be sharper next time.
14:10- Progressive chaser The Ould Lad makes most appeal from a win perspective following his demolition job at Leicester last time, and he is still well treated under a penalty despite having to race from out of the handicap. He didn't impress with his jumping on that occasion, though, and has to face a better calibre of rival, so could be opposable in the Placepot. We'll take him on with Samstown and Charingworth. Samstown developed into a fairly useful chaser last season and he can be expected to carry on that improvement if his reappearance win over hurdles is anything to go by. Samstown travelled smoothly and looked like an improved performer at Kelso so has to be respected over a trip that he stays well. Charingworth may be 11 but he has never been in better heart and comes here on the back of a game success at the Open meeting. Charingworth is an in-form, likeable chaser who will stay and give a good account, so he's a nice sort to have on your side in the Placepot.
14:40- Cross-country specialist Big Shu has an excellent record here and he made a satisfactory return to action when seemingly lacking for fitness at Punchestown. He's entitled to improve with the benefit of that run under his belt and he looks sure to go close in this specialist discipline. Often patiently ridden, Big Shu can pick off his rivals late on and looks banker material to at least finish in the three.
15:15- It's not difficult to see the case for Big Easy after two excellent efforts in defeat of late, first chasing home the well-handicapped Katkeau and then reversing the form with that one but losing out to Aubusson in an ultra-competitive event at Haydock. Big Easy has a solid look to him, though how he'll fare following those two hard races in quick succession offers something of a question mark, and it could be worth siding with King Massini and Ulzana's Raid instead. King Massini is well treated based on what he has achieved over fences, and he should relish this trip, while Ulzana's Raid has a progressive profile and could still be a step ahead of the handicapper.
12:30- 1, 3
13:05- 1, 7
13:40- 1, 6
14:10- 3, 4
15:15- 2, 9
= 32 lines
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