POLITOLOGUE looked set for Grade One glory at Aintree in the spring only to stumble after the last – but compensation awaits in the 188Bet Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

The six-year-old was in the lead and settling down for a battle on the run to the line in the Maghull Novices' Chase but lost his balance after jumping the final fence, unshipping Sam Twiston-Davies and presenting the win to stablemate San Benedeto.

Paul Nicholls still won the race but the trainer must have been a bit disappointed that this fellow could not recover, given he had previously finished a fine fourth in the two-and-a-half-mile JLT at the Festival.

Despite having won up to two miles and five furlongs, the drop back to two miles at Aintree appeared to bring out the best in Politologue, so sticking at that kind of trip on his return here makes perfect sense.

The conditions of the race put him in a handy position and while he might struggle to deal with Altior in the better events later in the campaign, this can be a nice starting point with plenty of options to look forward to where he can gain revenge on his stablemate. Twiston-Davies is back on board today's nap selection.

With the stable in great form, now looks a good time for Fergal O'Brien to send BARNEY DWAN back over fences in the 188bet.co.uk Novices' Chase. He is taking on some classy opponents but falls into that category himself.

Unfortunate on two occasions last season, when brought down at Wincanton and unseating at Warwick, he then went back over the smaller obstacles.

Showing his class, he was beaten only by the potentially top-drawer Presenting Percy in the Pertemps Final in March and might have too much speed for Ballyoptic under

Noel Fehily today.

NINJAGO appears to have hit his stride in the latter half of the season and can keep up the good work as Luke Morris rides in the 32Red.com Handicap at Kempton's evening meeting.

The seven-year-old is a well-travelled individual and, given this will be his 53rd start, he has no secrets from the handicapper any more.

It did look as though Paul Midgley was fighting something of a losing battle with Ninjago, as he had not actually hit the target in any of his 24 starts for the team since switching from the care of Richard Hannon.

Yet his lack of success saw his mark slide from a high of 105 back in 2014 to a relatively lowly perch of 78 at Newmarket in July and Ninjago duly took full advantage by notching a narrow victory in what was a decent event.

The handicapper did not go mad in pushing him up a couple of pounds to a mark of 80 and while Ninjago has not followed up in two outings, the fact he has hit the frame on both occasions at least means he remains competitive.

Hughie Morrison's attentions will be focused on Marmelo's Melbourne Cup run early on Tuesday morning – but win, lose or draw at Flemington, COMPTON MILL can at least add a little to the stable coffers at Redcar.

He was on the mark at Nottingham at the beginning of October, backing up on a fair fourth on what had been very testing ground at Epsom three days previously.

Perhaps those efforts told when he turned out again at Nottingham two weeks later and he is worth another chance in the Racing UK Free For A Month Handicap, having been given a longer three-week break. Daniel Tudhope is today's pilot.

MILITIA, ridden by Paul Hanagan, can make it fourth time lucky in the opening 32Red.com Novice Stakes at Wolverhampton.

He has been in the mix on each of his three outings to date, most recently in a similar event at York, and should not be too long in getting his head in front for Richard Fahey.