12:05 - Dancing On My Own has some strong form to his name, most notably a fourth to Klassical Dream in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown last year, and he is clearly a big player. However, THYME HILL (1) was one of last season's leading bumper performers and created a fantastic impression on his hurdling debut at Chepstow. He looks set to make a big impact in the hurdling division and should prove too good here.
12:40 - Botox created a big impression on his British debut at Fontwell, slamming the reopposing Prefontaine (won at Kempton next time). He is entitled to respect and should give a good account but may have to settle for second behind MICK PASTOR (1), who sets the clear standard on form based on his impressive success at Auteuil. He beat a subsequent top-level winner on that occasion and has joined Paul Nicholls, so is an exciting prospect.
13:15 - WHOLESTONE (3) was overhauled in the closing stages over C&D last month but he can make amends here. He had three of these rivals in behind on that occasion and there's little reason to think they will reverse the form. He was by far the best of these over hurdles and, while he might not reach that lofty level in this sphere, he is still expected to prove too good for these rivals.
13:50 - BIG RIVER (3) has bundles of stamina so will relish a slog in the mud. He also looks well-handicapped based on his efforts in the Ultima Handicap Chase and the Scottish Grand National as he stayed on powerfully on both occasions, catching the eye with his good late work. A decent record when fresh is also a positive and he gets the vote over Ramses de Teillee, who has run a number of good races in staying chases and can be relied upon to go well again.
14:25 - Slate House is feared after an impressive win on his reappearance here last month, but COUNT MERIBEL (8) also has plenty in his favour and is preferred. He had little chance against top Cheltenham Gold Cup prospect Lostintranslation on his return at Carlisle, but shaped with obvious promise to finish runner-up and looks well treated on that form. He is entitled to improve on that first start of the season and the C&D winner will be well suited by conditions on Saturday.
15:00 - EVA'S OSKAR (9) is on a roll and can bring up the four-timer. He stayed on powerfully to score at Chepstow last time, beating another progressive type, and he could yet have more to offer. This is the stiffest test he will have faced but he looks up to the challenge. Vieux Lion Rouge is better known as a chaser but he looks well treated in this sphere and stays this trip well so has to enter the equation.
15:30 - JATILUWIH (2) looks on a fair mark for his handicap hurdle debut and can rack up the five-timer. He has yet to be beaten since joining the Philip Hobbs yard and scored with plenty to spare at Wetherby last time, quickening clear under a hands-and-heels ride. There should be more to come.
16:00 - There is an obvious question mark about MIDNIGHT CALLISTO's (8) stamina having won on less testing ground, at a less stiff course and over a shorter distance. However, she impressively justified strong support and there is plenty of stamina in the pedigree, so she is expected to prove too good.