Peter Bowen's record in this race is second to none and he's bidding for a fifth win in nine years here with Saphir Des Bois and North Island. The latter won over C&D earlier this month and will be more at home on this ground than the former, who finished a long way behind Ostland over C&D last month. Charlie Longsdon's novice is one of several coming here at the top of their game with that list including Kim Bailey's pair, Sonny Mullen and Points Of View, and Pilgrims Lane. BUCK MULLIGAN should reverse Ludlow running in May with the latter over this shorter trip, however, and is in the same weight and age range as previous winners. Evan Williams' six-year-old looks to have been saved for this and is much preferred to Qulinton, who can't be guaranteed to reproduce his Worcester running in first-time blinkers. Schindler's Gold has been done no favours by the handicapper after a couple of novice wins but was hugely impressive at Worcester last time and has few miles on the clock for his age. He is fancied to improve again and looks a better bet than last year's winner Grand Slam Hero.
Sonny Mullen (IRE) 4-1 (11-1) Jumped well, made all, hard pressed from 3 out, ridden and stayed on gamely flat, won at Perth 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gf in Jun beating Harry Flashman (10-1) by 2l, 9 ran.
Grand Slam Hero (IRE) 25-1 (11-5) Always behind, struggling halfway, pulled up before 3 out, tailed off, in a race won by Knighton Combe (10-6) at Uttoxeter 3m 4f lstd hcp chs (1) gd in Jun, 17 ran.
Kangaroo Court (IRE) 15-2 (11-11) Mid-division on inside, slow 7th, ridden and headway before 3 out, stayed on under pressure flat, unable to reach leaders, 4th of 13, 4l behind Strumble Head (9-12) at Worcester 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf in Jun.
Schindler's Gold (IRE) 7-2 (11-5) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 11th, led going well 3 out, clear last, easily, won at Worcester 2m 4f nov chs (4) gd in Jun beating That'll Do (11-5) by 28l, 7 ran.
Classic Swain (USA) 7-2fav (11-10) Held up in rear, riddden and struggling 4 out, headway on inside before 2 out, stayed on flat, nearest finish, 3rd of 8, 3l behind Magical Legend (10-6) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Apr.
Logans Run (IRE) 11-2 (11-2) Held up mid-division on outside, reminder before 13th, lost place 4 out, weakened from next, 6th of 9, 25l behind Sonny Mullen (11-1) at Perth 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gf in Jun.
Qulinton (FR) 4-1fav (11-5) Chased leaders, not fluent 1st, reminders after 6th, went 2nd 4 out, jumped left 3 out, switched right flat, stayed on to lead post, won at Worcester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in May beating Sir Ian (11-10) by shd, 9 ran.
Ostland (GER) 3-1fav (11-6) Tracked leaders, mistakes 1st and 2nd, went 2nd after 4 out, soon led, ridden after 3 out, edged right flat, held on well, won at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jun beating Rockiteer (10-9) by nk, 10 ran.
Pilgrims Lane (IRE) 7-2fav (11-5) Held up, headway 12th, hampered 4 out, chased leader next, challenged from 2 out, driven to lead post, won at Fakenham 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gf in May beating Knight Legend (10-6) by shd, 7 ran.
Invisible Man (FR) 9-2 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, chased leading pair next, hung left under pressure and losing place when mistake last, 7th of 13, 10l behind Strumble Head (9-12) at Worcester 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf in Jun.
Points of View 5-4fav (11-5) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 4 out, challenged next, narrow lead last, all out, won at Market Rasen 2m 4f nov chs (4) gd in Jun beating Pyracantha (11-5) by 3/4l, 8 ran.
Buck Mulligan 7-1 (11-12) Took keen hold, soon mid-division, headway 13th, not fluent 17th, blundered next, close 4th 2 out, 3rd and beaten last, weakened flat, 3rd of 11, 14l behind Pilgrims Lane (10-12) at Ludlow 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in May.
Wake Board (FR) 11-4 (11-8) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, chased winner 8th, ridden and went left 2 out, one pace flat, 3rd of 5, 2 1/4l behind Al Qeddaaf (11-4) at Newton Abbot 2m nov chs (3) gs in Jun.
Saphir Des Bois (FR) 9-1 (11-10) Tracked leader, led 5th, headed and hit 7th, led 9th, not fluent next, ridden and headed 4 out, weakening when mistake 3 out, 7th of 10, 27l behind Ostland (11-6) at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jun.
Pyracantha 10-3 (11-5) Pressed leader, mistake 2nd, led after 4th, headed next, led 7th, ridden and headed 2 out, stayed on flat, 2nd of 8, 3/4l behind Points of View (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 4f nov chs (4) gd in Jun.
North Island (IRE) 8-1 (11-12) Led 1st, not fluent 9th, ridden approaching 3 out, edged left before last, hard pressed flat, held on gamely, won at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp chs 0-120 (3) gf beating Another Trump (11-9) by nk, 8 ran.