Pettifour can gain a sweet success.
The Nigel Twiston-Daviestrained 11-year-old has not won since November 2009, but he did enough on his last outing at Haydock two months ago to warrant support here.
Pettifour was given a patient ride by Sam Twiston-Davies on Merseyside before slowly edging into contention.
Although he stayed on with purpose, the Naunton raider was well held by the main players and finished fifth of 15 runners.
Connections must surely have been satisfied by that effort, though, as it was his first start since May.
The handicapper has, importantly, also left him alone off a mark of 120.
Pettifour had been rated as highly as 160 over hurdles in his pomp, so that fact should not go unnoticed by those seeking a spot of value in what is always a difficult conundrum in which to solve.
The prospect of drying ground can also be considered another boon.
Abruzzi caught most people unawares at Towcester, but it would come as less of a surprise if he doubles up in the attheraces.com & British Stallion Studs EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.
Tom Symonds' five-year-old was an 18-1 scorer in a tight novices' hurdle in December, despite having looked badly outpaced for a long way.
The manner in which he picked up towards the finish to beat Up To Something by nearly three lengths has clearly influenced the decision to step him up in trip here.
Vulcanite can uphold form with Salden Licht in the ATR Novices' Chase.
Charlie Longsdon's six-yearold won well on his chasing debut at Hereford, where fellow fencing newcomer Salden Licht came home a creditable second after a long absence.
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|Publication:||Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)|
|Date:||Jan 5, 2013|
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