Without a victory since his hurdling debut two seasons ago, BARWELL BRIDGE caught the eye staying on in third in the Pertemps Hurdle at Warwick. This was his second good run since returning to action, having been placed in another qualifier for this series at Wincanton, and the target will no doubt be the Cheltenham final in March. At least he will go there in better form than last year when sixth to Buena Vista.
Absent since November after suffering an overreach at Ascot, FREDO was doing all his best work in the closing stages of the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick. He acts on softer ground and gave the impression he will stay further than this three miles five furlongs and a crack at another marathon like the Eider Chase at Newcastle next month could well be on the cards.
Useful on the Flat last year for Mark Johnston, SADLERS RISK made an impressive debut over timber at Kempton and looks a worthy contender for the Triumph Hurdle on this evidence. He may have another couple of runs before the Festival, including one at Cheltenham next weekend.
Blinkers seem to have worked the oracle for MOLESKIN, who showed improved form in the headgear when runner-up at Hereford and the outcome was even better when he put daylight between himself and his pursuers at Kempton in a race in which he finished second last year off a 5lb higher mark. While it will be tougher off his new mark, stamina is his strong suit.
Given a positive ride, FIX THE RIB ran his best race for a long while at Kempton on his fourth start following a lengthy absence. He is on a handy mark if he can build on this.