GENTLE GEORGE, winner of this three years ago, was sent off favourite at Lingfield earlier this month but found a back-to-form Radetsky March too strong. He could go one better here, however, as Rathcor was probably flattered by his latest course and distance third. Freddies Return must be a danger as he's reeled off nine successive wins between the flags and won over fences under Rules at Towcester in 2010 while Soulard has won four times over fences but, like How's My Friend, lacks a recent run and Fort View appears to have lost his way.
Fort View (IRE) 14-1 (12-7) (cp) prom to 15, 5th of 10, 16l behind Bleuvito (12-0) at Chipley Park 3m ptp sft.
How's My Friend 13-8fav (11-0) Tracked leaders on outside, outpaced after 10th, mistake 3 out, rallied 2 out, soon switched left, led when left well clear last, won at Towcester 2m 3f mdn chs (5) gf in May beating Bennys Well (10-9) by 23l, 9 ran.
Freddies Return (IRE) 8-11 (12-0) (tt) led 3; stayed on wl, won at Charing 3m 6f ptp gs beating Orfeo Conti (12-0) by 6l, 8 ran.
Gentle George 5-4fav (11-11) Pressed leader, led and hit 9th, headed 11th, chased leader until ridden approaching 2 out, rallied to 2nd again soon after last, no impression on winner, 2nd of 7, 3 1/2l behind Radetsky March (11-11) at Lingfield 3m amat chs (6) hvy.
My Shamwari (IRE) 7-1 (10-5) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 9th, went 2nd after 2 out until hampered approaching last, soon switched left, weakened flat, 5th of 19, 14l behind Dorset Square (10-2) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gs in Nov '11.
Rathcor 12-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, ridden approaching 2 out, soon outpaced, went 3rd flat, no impression, 3rd of 4, 9l behind Tricky Trickster (11-9) at Huntingdon 3m hts chs (6) gs.
Soulard (USA) 9-1 (10-12) Pushed along start, pressed leader, led after 4th, ridden after 7th, headed 3 out, no extra after next, 5th of 6, 10l behind Rajnagan (11-12) at Worcester 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jun.