Jumps racing genius Paul Nicholls gives us his views on his runners at Kempton on Sunday...
"Present Man loves going right-handed, enjoys good ground and as he is still a maiden over hurdles this looks a perfect starting point to blow away the cobwebs before he goes back over fences in the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton on November 11."
Risk And Roll
A raw horse who has plenty of growing up to do, he has a likeable way of going but was a little disappointing on his debut for us at Fontwell 16 days go.
It's fair to say the form of his only race in France at Auteuil has not worked out. While I am looking for some improvement now City Dreamer has looked smart in his last two starts and will be hard to beat.
Amour de Nuit
He ran up to his best when a close second in the Persian War Hurdle at Chepstow a week ago over two-and-a-half miles where it looked to me as if he didn't quite get home.
Although he stayed well on the flat, I feel his best form over hurdles is at two miles which is why I am bringing back in trip here.
This is Amour de Nuit's last chance to run as a novice before he goes handicapping.
He hasn't done a lot this week, seems fresh and well and has a big chance provided this does not come a bit too quickly after Chepstow.
He is a free-going, bold jumper who enjoys fast ground and performed well over fences in the first part of last season before running with great credit behind some very classy novices.
He looked in the spring as if he would be suited by a step up in trip which he gets here on a flat, right-handed track that plays to his strengths.
Although I doubt Marracudja is well handicapped he is in good form at home and does have a lot in his favour here.
Made an encouraging return to action at Chepstow a week ago following an op in the summer to help his breathing.
In finishing just behind the placed horses in a competitive handicap he gave me plenty of hope that he can get back on the winning trail after a testing campaign last winter because of his high rating.
I put Old Guard in this valuable race as an after thought once it was re-opened because there were so few entries. On his best form he is well treated by the race conditions as he is rated 149 and doesn't have any penalties, though ideally he does want further these days than a sharp two miles.
Tough, genuine, wonderfully versatile and a superstar for us over fences last season, winning six times culminating with a fine success in the Grade 1 Magull Novices' Chase at Aintree.
Given his official mark of 155 over fences life is bound to be much harder for him this time round so it makes sense to start him off for the season over hurdles as he meets all but the bottom one at level weights.
While this should put San Benedetto spot-on for his major early season target the Haldon Gold Cup on November 7 he is forward enough for me to think he might be the one to beat here.
A gorgeous, big model of a horse, he began to fulfil his promise last season, winning four times over fences and providing his owners with some memorable days.
Present Man loves going right-handed, enjoys good ground and as he is still a maiden over hurdles this looks a perfect starting point to blow away the cobwebs before he goes back over fences in the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton on November 11.
He is in good shape and I expect him to run well.