Philip Hobbs excels with long-distance chasers and it is encouraging that a couple of horses from that division of his Somerset operation have worked with great gusto this week.
GAS LINE BOY, by the Mick Fitzgerald Racing Club, has shown a success that slightly surprised Hobbs at Exeter has brought him further forward.
He looked in good heart working up both his trainer's all-weather facilities earlier in the week ahead of another marathon handicap at Haydock.
DE LA BECH a pea out of the same pod and was in similarly sprightly form as he engaged in identical work.
He failed to menace in that same Exeter contest and while Hobbs has tried different headgear, it appeared to make little impact.
UNCLE JIMMY beautifully on Friday morning before heading to Haydock for the 'Fixed Brush' Hurdle and in current form should be a factor in an admittedly very competitive race.
His winning form shows he has improved since last year.
MENORAH a similar spin just to keep him in the groove ahead of his bid for the Betfair Chase.
WISHFULL THINKING to Ascot as favourite for the Amlin 1965 Chase and could hardly be in better form judging on his work and general demeanour since scoring at Aintree.
THE NEW ONE been in cracking form for Nigel Twiston-Davies in his build-up to the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle at Haydock.
Twiston-Davies perceives the new contest as a perfect stepping stone to his charge's main mid-season target, the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day.
Some people have questioned the gelding's jumping but he's been electric in his schooling at home.
Considered by many to have been unlucky not to win this year's Champion Hurdle when he was hampered and made up a lot of late ground, The New One is in a league of his own on the steep Fibresand strip at Naunton and will be at cramped odds to bolster his Festival claims.
SYBARITE showing his early promise and having matured into his frame, worked zestfully ahead of a crack at the "Fixed Brush" Hurdle.
The eight-year-old does not look badly treated in the
DOUBLE ROSS set to take on the big guns in the Betfair Chase having just been run out of the places in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby.
The eight-year-old was knocked into and brought down at Newton Abbot, but a solid run last time showed the spill hadn't dented his confidence.
He looks in good order and shapes like a possible Grand National type, having already shown an affinity for those famous fences.
BALLY BEAUFORT an interesting prospect for novice hurdles and has worked nicely ahead of a possible trip to Ascot at the weekend.
SNOW SKY being kept on the go by Sir Michael Stoute in the hope of gaining a late invitation to contest the Hong Kong International fixture at Sha Tin next month.
The Khalid Abdullah-owned colt travelled sweetly behind his lead horse ABSEIL the Al Bahathri Polytrack this morning in his latest stretch.
A of both the Lingfield Derby Trial and the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, Snow Sky acquitted himself well with a third placing to Kingston Hill in the St Leger, but has still not been green-lighted for the prestigious Hong Kong Vase.
Nicky Henderson has indicated that a number of his runners are just needing their comeback outings but the Seven Barrows handler should have a big compliment of runners at the weekend.
RAJDHANI EXPRESS Cheltenham to wait for Ascot and the gelding pleased in his latest visit to the Faringdon Road grass working ahead of a possible tilt at the Amlin 1965 Chase.
The gelding has a spring in his step and looks worth following in his division, while FRENCH OPERA a stalwart that will continue contesting similar races.
DAWALAN struck the crossbar on both his starts this season and should soon go one better in a handicap hurdle.
HUNT BALL shown up well since joining the string, including a prominent showing in the Grand national.
The much-travelled gelding has been working well towards a likely reappearance over hurdles.
Philip Hobbs spent the Open meeting on cloud nine and can look forward to further assaults at the marquee races this weekend.
MENORAH been one of his top providers with a comeback success teeing the gelding up for a crack at the Betfair Chase.
Menorah warmed-up for that Grade One Haydock race with a swinging canter on the main woodchip facility at Sandhills and is clearly in great heart for Saturday's test.
UNCLE JIMMY looked an improved performer this season and he engaged in some readying work for a possible crack at the "Fixed Brush" Handicap Hurdle.
The seven-year-old handles cut in the ground and has also schooled adeptly at home.
BIG EASY swords with Katkeau at Cheltenham and even though he had to give best to that rival up the final hill, he has taken his exertions in his stride.
Veteran WISHFULL THINKING found a renewed sprightliness this season with his victory in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree showing him to be as good as ever.
The chestnut moved powerfully up both his trainer's all-weathers and appears to be in good heart ahead of the Amlin 1965 Chase at Ascot.
IF IN DOUBT an ignominious first look at fences when departing early at Exeter, but he has schooled well subsequently and should raise his game if returning to the Haldon course at the weekend.
He is held in high regard and could be joined by RETURN SPRING, has also schooled and worked satisfactorily.