Winning pointer Alpha Native was well beaten on his debut under Rules at Worcester but Marshal Zhukov won over hurdles here in April and has the scope to make a chaser. Fairy Rath's pedigree suggests he'll also make a better chaser than hurdler while First Fandango was a decent handicapper over the smaller obstacles last season and is sure to have been well schooled. THERE'S NO PANIC had a setback after finishing second over hurdles at Cheltenham in April last year but he's been given plenty of time to recover and can be expected to start making up for lost time this term, starting in this.
Alpha Native 12-1 (10-12) Led until before 11th where not fluent, outpaced 13th, soon weakened, tailed off, 4th of 5, 39l behind Red Not Blue (11-5) at Worcester 2m 7f nov chs (4) gd in Aug.
Ball Hopper (IRE) 66-1 (11-3) Whipped round start and lost 25 lengths, in rear, closer order before 4th, went moderate 5th at 6th, struggling 10th, tailed off, 4th of 6, well behind Doeslessthanme (11-3) at Fontwell 2m 4f nov chs (4) gs in Oct '11.
Fairy Rath (IRE) 17-2 (11-3) Took keen hold, chased leaders, pushed along before 3 out, weakened before next, 7th of 11, 36l behind Charm School (11-7) at Newbury 2m nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Mar.
First Fandango 11-1 (11-4) Mid-division, headway on inside when bumped 8th, ridden 3 out, switched right after 2 out, stayed on well final 100 yards, 3rd of 17, 1 1/2l behind Native Gallery (11-1) at Aintree 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) gd in May.
Marshal Zhukov (IRE) 6-1 (10-10) Tracked leading trio, travelling well after 3 out, led before next, soon clear, driven right out, won at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gs in Apr beating Warsaw Pact (10-7) by 14l, 8 ran.
There's No Panic (IRE) 7-1 (11-0) Patiently ridden and held up in rear, smooth headway from 2 out, went 2nd and travelling on bit before last, not fluent last, found no extra and outbattled flat, 2nd of 11, 1/2l behind Sir Kezbaah (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gd in Apr '11.