Meneur is sure to be popular again here despite a record that shows just one win in 29 starts over jumps. He was beaten 20 lengths when favourite at Plumpton last time. Zhukov's form figures look better than his actual results but Princely Hero could yet improve over fences, as could GROSS PROPHET. Alastair Lidderdale's charge is having his first run over the larger obstacles but was third over hurdles at Chepstow last month and did win twice on the Flat last year - he should take all the beating if his jumping holds up.
Meneur (FR) 6-4fav (11-10) Tracked leading duo, ridden before 4 out, driven and no impression when left 2nd and slightly hampered 2 out, 2nd of 4, 20l behind She's Humble (11-12) at Plumpton 2m 1f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gf in Mar.
Princely Hero (IRE) 8-1 (10-11) Close up and keen, led after 5th, headed narrowly before 6th, soon left in lead, headed 3 out, soon weakened, hampered on bend soon after, 4th of 10, 6l behind Celticello (11-7) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Apr.
Gross Prophet 15-2 (11-3) Led, headed approaching 4 out, soon lost 2nd, went 2nd again before 3 out, no chance with winner, weakened to 3rd flat, 3rd of 15, 12l behind Taste The Wine (11-5) at Chepstow 2m nov hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gd in Apr.
Zhukov (IRE) 7-2 (10-4) Chased winner, went left 2nd, dropped to 3rd next, jumped slowly 5th, mistake 7th, ridden and lost touch 9th, rallied to poor 2nd approaching 3 out, mistake next, 2nd of 3, 8l behind Ballabrook (11-12) at Wincanton 2m nov hcp chs 0-100 (4) fm.
Drink Up 11-2 (10-8) Soon well off the pace in rear, tailed off when pulled up 11th, in a race won by Champs De Bleu (10-13) at Plumpton 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gf in Apr, 11 ran.
Bold Pioneer (USA) 13-2 (10-3) Raced keenly, held up behind, headway and in touch 5th, went 2nd next, led 8th, blundered next, headed 3 out, lost 3rd and weakened after next, last of 6, 23l behind Jack's Lad (11-1) at Folkestone 2m nov hcp chs 0-90 (5) gs in Dec.