IT will be wet and windy if racing gets the go ahead at Haydock on Saturday.
Fingers crossed it passes the 8am inspection as there is some cracking action to get stuck into.
THE BIG BITE bounced back to his best with a ready win over this trip at Doncaster last time.
He had the re-opposing Caribean Boy in arrears when scoring decisively under Johnny Burke, and the forecast testing conditions won't inconvenience him.
The improving Musical Slave is the main threat, and he should have more to offer now he has opened his account over fences.
The prolific Glinger Flame is the pick of the remainder.
SELECTION: The Big Bite
DANGER: Musical Slave
The Worlds End coped with testing ground when winning a poor renewal of the Long Walk at Ascot in December.
He is still the one to beat, for all that race rather fell into his lap and he has a 6lb penalty.
But it could pay to take a chance on EMITOM, who badly needed the run on his reappearance in the Relkeel at Cheltenham.
That race wasn't run to suit and he will be much happier over this 3m trip. Heavy ground isn't ideal, but he has won on soft in the past.
It will be interesting to see how West Approach goes on his return to hurdling, while proven mud-lark Clyne should run his usual solid race.
DANGER: The Worlds End
SIR PSYCHO could be anything on the evidence of his Exeter demolition last month.
He sauntered clear to beat some useful rivals by 31 lengths in the mud on New Year's Day and he rates a high-class prospect.
French raider Rockadenn has rattled up four victories at Cagnes-Sur-Mer this winter and he is a fascinating contender. Slow ground won't be a worry for him.
Gerolamo Cardano ran well when third in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham on Trials Day, for all that probably wasn't the strongest race.
He commands respect, as does Warwick runner-up The Pink'n.
SELECTION: Sir Psycho
He has plenty of weight to carry, but ELEGANT ESCAPE should take plenty of beating.
The Colin Tizzard-trained eight-year-old ran a cracker when third in the Ladbrokes Trophy and was well-fancied for the Welsh National last time.
He didn't run too badly in sixth, but he has undergone a wind op since then and he will relish the forecast testing conditions. He is the class horse in the race.
Yala Enki regained the winning thread in a valuable race at Taunton over this distance last time and he rates the main danger.
Progressive seven-year-old Lord Du Mesnil stays well and shouldn't be underestimated, for all this is his stiffest task yet.
Vintage Clouds is an each-way player, while it would be good to see an encouraging run from former National hero One For Arthur in first-time cheekpieces.
SELECTION: Elegant Escape
DANGER: Yala Enki
KILBRICKEN STORM goes well on this sort of ground.
He wasn't disgraced behind Paisley Park in the Cleeve Hurdle last time out and he can register a long overdue success now dropped back into a handicap.
The lightly-raced Portrush Ted made a triumphant return to action at Ayr in early January, and if Warren Greatrex can keep him in one piece he will win a big pot over timber.
Welsh Saint is worth a close look on handicap debut, though his opening mark isn't a gimme.
Harry Whittington's Young Bull is on a roll at present and is also shortlisted.
SELECTION: Kilbricken Storm
DANGER: Portrush Ted
RAMSES DE TEILLE is enjoying himself over hurdles.
The high-class chaser made light work of a useful field at Doncaster last time and he should take plenty of pegging back again.
Kalooki has bolted up in a pair of moderate races at Ludlow and Wetherby, but he could only beat what was in front of him. He is feared.
The Olly Murphy-trained pair Port Of Mars and Overthetop are going the right way and clearly have plenty of ability, but this requires a big step forward.
SELECTION: Ramses De Teille
ALCALA would have collected on his Hunter Chase debut at Ludlow but for taking a tumble two out.
He was a classy performer at his best and is fancied to make amends in receipt of weight all round.
Wishing And Hoping jumped like a buck when landing the spoils at Taunton last month.
He rates the chief threat ahead of the in-form The Dellercheckout, but Asangy has work to do.