Soprano was racing from out of the handicap when he won this last year and he has a similar task today. He beat Scotswell last season and the latter arrives on the back of a win at Newcastle where he had NIGHT IN MILAN less than a length behind. However, Keith Reveley's charge was having his first start since May on that occasion and is fancied to reverse running and land this on better terms. Howizee is another to consider dropped in class after a good effort at Cheltenham and he has a fitness advantage over Alpha Victor, a winner at Aintree back in May.
Alpha Victor (IRE) 22-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders early, mid-division, headway when not fluent 9th, went 2nd approaching 2 out, led flat, driven out, won at Aintree 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in May beating Sainglend (10-11) by 4l, 20 ran.
Howizee 12-1 (10-6) Tracked leaders, mistake 2 out, one pace flat, 6th of 20, 10l behind Action Master (10-6) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gs in Oct.
Night In Milan (IRE) 7-2 (11-12) Mid-division, headway approaching 3 out, soon driven, ridden to chase leading pair before last, rallied to press winner towards finish, just held, 2nd of 12, 1/2l behind Scotswell (11-6) at Newcastle 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Oct.
Scotswell 10-1 (11-6) Made all, ridden before 2 out, edged left last, held on when hard pressed towards finish, won at Newcastle 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Oct beating Night In Milan (11-12) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
South Leinster (IRE) 11-4fav (11-5) Held up in rear, headway into mid-division before 3 out, kept on same pace from next, never neaer leaders, 6th of 12, 13l behind Scotswell (11-6) at Newcastle 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Oct.
Charlie Bucket 7-1 (11-0) In rear, ridden approaching 6th, headway 8th, mistake next, weakened after 3 out, 6th of 9, 32l behind Papamoa (10-6) at Perth 3m nov hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Apr.
What A Steel (IRE) 80-1 (9-13) In touch behind leaders, ridden 6th, weakened after next, 14th of 23, well behind Bondage (10-13) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs in Oct.
Milano Magic (IRE) 3-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway 4 out, chased winner before 2 out, kept on, 2nd of 7, 1 3/4l behind Streams Of Whiskey (10-12) at Kelso 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Oct.
Sphinx (FR) 16-1 (10-1) Mid-division, in touch 8th, chased leaders after 4 out, ridden and lost place next, weakened last, 6th of 10, 18l behind Reindeer Dippin (11-12) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy in Jan.
Soprano (GER) 7-1 (10-4) Tracked leaders, mistake 6th, every chance 2 out, mistake last, no extra flat, 4th of 13, 12l behind Bondage (11-3) at Perth 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Sep.