WITH fitness having to be taken on trust so early in the jumps season it is probably wise to concentrate on in-form trainers and Fergal O'Brien, Nigel Twiston-Davies and Dr Richard Newland fit the bill on recent evidence.
The Aintree track will be riding pretty testing but that shouldn't bother IMPERIAL ALCAZAR (12.40), placed in two Listed bumpers last season, one of which came on soft at Ascot. He could be one to watch this season now going hurdling.
MR MULDOON (1.15) steps up further in distance after beating Keith Dalgleish's Sidi Ismael over 2m 5f at Kelso last month and although the runner-up flopped on his next outing at Stratford (possibly something amiss), Mr Muldoon has now won four of his last five starts in the manner of a steadily-improving individual.
THE HOLLOW GINGE (3.35) made a most satisfactory chasing debut on deep ground at Worcester last month, having seven lengths to spare over useful Beware The Bear and yesterday's Cheltenham winner The Conditional. A 5lb rise makes this tougher but he gets the nod over Django Django and Irish raider Plan Of Attack.