Bumper winner CAPTAIN CUTTER made a successful start over hurdles with a 10-length victory under McCoy at Kempton last month - he can defy a penalty in this company. Broadway Symphony has won a bumper in Ireland and should have improved from a modest hurdling debut at Ludlow, while Figaro is also expected to finish closer than his fifth to Franciscan at Musselburgh last time. Newcomer Vermouth Bleu is related to National Hunt winners in France and could go well but the remainder are hard to fancy.
Captain Cutter (IRE) 4-11fav (10-12) Mid-division in 5th, headway before and mistake 4 out, went 2nd 3 out, led before 2 out, clear before last, won at Kempton 2m 5f nov hdl (4) gs in Nov beating Fine Words (10-12) by 10l, 9 ran.
Auto Mac 9-1 (9-6) Slowly into stride, held up in rear, headway when not clear run over 3f out, soon shuffled back, switched right and rallied over 2f out, stayed on, never nearer, 4th of 10, 14l behind Bling King (9-2) at Redcar 1m 2f sell stks (5) gf in Oct (flat).
Broadway Symphony (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Held up in touch in mid-division, blundered 2nd, closed before 5th, mistake 3 out, 4th and beaten next, 5th of 15, 21l behind Free Thinking (10-2) at Ludlow 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Nov.
Figaro 9-1 (10-12) Chased leader, effort 3 out, soon no impression, 5th of 9, 11l behind Franciscan (11-5) at Musselburgh 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Princeofthedesert 6-1 (9-4) Chased leader, led 7f out, headed over 2f out, chased leader and every chance 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, 2nd of 13, 4l behind Hussar Ballad (9-2) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp (6) fbs in Nov (flat).
Royal Macnab (IRE) 16-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, ridden and weakened over 4f out, tailed off, 6th of 8, 48l behind Wilde Blue Yonder (11-4) at Uttoxeter 2m NH flat (6) sft in Nov.
Stoney Silence 100-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, hung left and struggling before 5th, tailed off, 10th of 12, well behind Rydon Pynes (10-12) at Exeter 2m 5f nov hdl (3) gs in Nov.
Vermouth Bleu (FR) Network gelding out of Jacinthe Bleue.
Alistorm 200-1 (10-5) Held up towards rear, pushed along after 3rd, never dangerous, pulled up, in a race won by Run Ructions Run (10-10) at Wetherby 2m mrs nov hdl (4) gs in Nov, 12 ran.