Timeform's Andrew Asquith highlights a Nap, Next Best and Each-Way selection at Wincanton.
"He makes plenty of appeal on his first start since a breathing operation..."
NAP: Go Wilde
Wilde Spirit was just a fair maiden over hurdles, but there is reason to think she can better that form over fences, and she is fancied to build on her chase debut at Hereford last month.
She shaped as if in need of the experience on his first start for six months, making some novicey mistakes at her fences and not persevered with once her chance had gone. That was only a three-runner contest, but her two rivals were better than the ones she faces today, and there should be improvement to come from her now. Henry Daly has his team in good shape and it is interesting Wilde Spirit also holds an entry at Ludlow on Monday.
NEXT BEST: About Thyme
Paul Nicholls has won this race three times since 2016 and used it to introduce Tamaroc du Mathan last season, who went on to win the Grade 2 Pendil Novices' Chase at Kempton.
In the shape of Thyme White he has another interesting chase debutant whose future was always going to be over the larger obstacles. He was the best of these over hurdles, but in truth, whatever he achieved in that sphere was always going to be a bonus, as he is a good-topped type who has always looked a chaser. Thyme White travelled like a well-handicapped horse in some competitive races last season and the switch to fences should be the making of him. He makes plenty of appeal on his first start since a breathing operation.
EACH WAY: Positive stable switch
New Zealander looked ungenuine on his sole start on the Flat for Charlie Hills and was regressive over hurdles for Graeme McPherson more recently, so there are risks attached in supporting him.
However, the angle is the positive stable switch to Fergal O'Brien, who is in top form at present and does especially well with new recruits. New Zealander went with little fluency on his final start at Newton Abbot in September, but starts life with this yard from a career-low mark as a result, and it wouldn't be the biggest surprise in the world if he showed much improved form now.