This is a good race and we'll focus on the head of the weights, with INVENTOR our selection to beat Acambo, Coastley and Marodima. Donald McCain's charge was pretty smart on the flat and seems to have fully translated that ability to hurdles, with a couple of comfortable wins in uncompetitive affairs complementing some solid placed form, the pick of which would be his third behind crack novices Menorah and General Miller at Aintree. He ran well in the County Hurdle on his fourth start over obstacles and, although 2lbs higher now, this is undeniably easier. Arriving as he does on the back of a facile victory at Bangor and with conditions to suit he's taken to prove up to the task on his second try in a handicap. This is fiercely competitive though, with Acambo having won over course and distance on his penultimate start. David Pipe's inmate is fairly treated on his best form and this is much less competitive than the Swinton hurdle which he ran in last time, so he's not discounted. Marodima has benefited from having his sights lowered of late with ready wins in claiming contests. He's 7lbs higher in the ratings than for his last handicap success but can be a potent front-running force, but we feel he's probably better over further these days and will take him on. Coastley is less exposed than most having had just eight starts and he ran well off a 2lb lower mark last time. This is tougher though so whilst there's probably more to come from this eight-year-old we're inclined to look elsewhere. Pepporoni Pete is a horse who has his own ideas about the game but he could sneak a place and is accordingly preferred to Danish Rebel of the rest. The last named won well over 2m5f on his last start over timber and may find this drop in trip against him. Similar comments apply to Santa's Son and Akarshan looks held by the handicapper so we'll return to Inventor.
Marodima (FR) 4-9fav (11-12) Made all, soon 5 lengths clear, mistake 3out, pushed along next, not fluent last, unchallenged, won at Plumpton 2m clm hdl (5) gf in May beating Bazart (11-1) by 15l, 4 ran.
Acambo (GER) 33-1 (11-2) Always towards rear, pushed along approach 4 out, soon struggling, 22nd of 23, well behind Eradicate (10-1) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl G3 (1) gd in May.
Inventor (IRE) 1-3fav (11-12) Made all, ridden approaching 2 out, stayed on well to go clear from last, eased towards finish, won at Bangor 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Apr beating Playing With Fire (11-5) by 5l, 4 ran.
Coastley (IRE) 11-2 (11-11) Tracked leader, ridden to lead after last, headed inside final furlong, kept on, 2nd of 8, 2l behind Solway Bay (9-13) at Kelso 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gf in May.
Los Nadis (GER) 7-1 (11-5) Chased leaders, went 2nd after 5th until 7th, still close 3rd when mistake last, stayed on one pace flat, 3rd of 10, 8l behind Hearthstead Dream (11-2) at Perth 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf in May.
Santa's Son (IRE) 7-1 (11-5) Mid-division, took keen hold, blundered 4th, headway approaching 6th, went 2nd next, led after 3 out, not fluent and ridden 2 out, headed last, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 10, 6l behind Hearthstead Dream (11-2) at Perth 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf in May.
Akarshan (IRE) 16-1 (10-11) Held up mid-division, chased leaders 3 out, ridden approaching next, one pace, 3rd of 14, 7l behind Tabaran (10-2) at Newton Abbot 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in May.
Pepporoni Pete (IRE) 12-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders, took closer order from 5th, led after 3 out, headed 2 out, weakened last 50 yards, 3rd of 9, 5l behind Tiger O'toole (10-13) at Stratford 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf in May.
Danish Rebel (IRE) 12-1 (10-12) Led from 1st, made rest, stayed on well from last, driven out, won at Perth 2m 4f nov hcp 0-115 (4) sft in Apr beating Stopped Out (11-10) by 8l, 11 ran.
Breaking Storm (IRE) 16-1 (11-8) Chased leaders until not fluent and outpaced 3 out, rallied before 2 out, stayed on under pressure to lead flat, driven out, won at Sedgefield 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf in Apr beating Samizdat (11-2) by 2l, 9 ran.
Nelson du Ronceray (FR) 13-2 (11-9) Held up towards rear, headway to chase leaders 3 out, soon outpaced, kept on from last, 4th of 8, 8l behind Benmadigan (10-9) at Kelso 2m 2f cond hcp hdl 0-1115 (4) gf in May.
Duty Free (IRE) 7-2 (11-0) Mid-division, headway approaching 5th, every chance last, stayed on, 2nd of 11, 1/2l behind Sir Frank (11-0) at Cartmel 2m 1f mdn hdl (5) gd in May.