Competition is the name of the game here and Major Malarkey has a fitness edge after his recent Chepstow win, but that was after a lengthy absence due to fractured withers and there must be a risk that he will 'bounce', so we will take him on with SAGALYRIQUE. Thus far both in France and when with Alan King, the six-year-old could be described as an inconsistent performer, but he is decent on his day, relishes plenty of cut and has winning course and distance form. It may be that Donald McCain can elicit enough improvement to get his nose in front again. Rate Of Knots has slipped to a mark that should see him get involved while the unexposed Summery Justice would be feared more if Venetia Williams's inmates were showing more spark than at present. Costa Courta and Minella Boys (first-time tongue strap) are both course winners that merit respect.
Kilbeggan Blade 28-1 (11-7) Held up, weakened from 7 out, pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Gidam Gidam (11-0) at Doncaster 4m hcp chs 0-140 (2) gs in Feb, 16 ran.
No Panic (IRE) 7-2 (11-12) In touch, ridden 4 out, weakened next, 3rd of 5, 30l behind Sporting Rebel (10-7) at Fakenham 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Oct.
Summery Justice (IRE) 7-1 (11-7) Reminders at several stages, mid-division, blundered badly 12th, soon pulled up, in a race won by Carrickmines (10-9) at Uttoxeter 3m nov hcp chs (3) sft in Mar, 11 ran.
Costa Courta (FR) 9-4 (11-0) Tracked leader, led 5th, made rest, hard pressed 2 out, ridden and stayed on gamely flat, won at Bangor 3m beg chase (4) gs in Mar beating Viking Rebel (11-0) by 4l, 4 ran.
Sagalyrique (FR) 11-2 (11-6) Held up mid-division, hit 6th, went 3rd from 8th, weakened approaching 3 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Victor Daly (10-7) at Aintree 3m 1f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in May, 12 ran.
Buffalo Bob (IRE) 13-2fav (11-5) Tracked leaders in 3rd, led 5th, pecked 4 out, headed next, weakened from last, 5th of 16, 20l behind Himalayan Trail (11-7) at Carlisle 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Apr.
The Vicar (IRE) 9-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, reminders 12th, ridden and outpaced approaching 4 out, 6th and beaten when mistake next, soon weakened, 6th of 10, 49l behind Lease Lend (11-9) at Haydock 2m 5f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Mar.
Jimbatai (IRE) 8-1 (11-1) Held up, not fluent 3rd, headway after 7th, chased winner from next, no impression 2 out, well held when hit last, 2nd of 8, 14l behind Frosted Grape (10-4) at Uttoxeter 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Sep.
Minella Boys (IRE) 17-2 (11-7) In touch, dropped to rear and struggling 15th, tailed off when pulled up before 18th, in a race won by Noble Bily (9-9) at Folkestone 3m 7f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Mar, 10 ran.
Rate of Knots (IRE) 6-1 (11-9) Held up in rear, not fluent 2nd, jumped right and bumped 7th, headway 3 out, went 3rd 2 out, weakened approaching last, 4th of 7, 12l behind Darn Hot (10-4) at Stratford 2m 7f mares hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Mar.
Major Malarkey (IRE) 9-1 (11-11) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 10th, led 5 out, soon well clear, stayed on, 10 lengths clear last, comfortably, won at Chepstow 3m nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft beating Bobby Gee (11-12) by 3 1/2l, 11 ran.