A fiercely-competitive handicap in which none of the 17 entries can be dismissed out of hand, though the lack of a recent run could count again Rumble Of Thunder and Nine Stories. Sud Pacifique looks harshly treated for what he's achieved and Jason Maguire prefers ABSINTHE, who was just behind Local Hero, Kian's Delight and Kayaan in a valuable contest over C&D in July. Donald McCain's charge is 5lb better off than when beaten three lengths by Kian's Delight at Perth subsequently and has the beating of Stratford winner Smalib Monterg and Ultimate on that run so gets the nod today. This may be too hot for Battlecat while stablemate Ugo is penalised but Star Of Aragon and Dubai Crest could be interesting off a low weight and the latter's stable companion Laudatory is useful when in the mood. Changing The Guard has won at Huntingdon and Newton Abbot recently but is taking on much stronger opposition now.
Local Hero (GER) 9-2 (10-8) Held up mid-division, headway before 5th, led before 2 out, kept on well, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Jul beating Kian's Delight (10-0) by 1 1/2l, 16 ran.
Kian's Delight 4-1 (10-13) Held up in touch, headway when not fluent 2 out, led last, ridden out, won at Perth 2m ltd hcp hdl (2) sft in Aug beating Absinthe (10-13) by 3l, 10 ran.
Rumble of Thunder (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, headway into mid-division 5th, driven and outpaced after 3 out, weakened before next, 9th of 14, 30l behind Laudatory (10-0) at Stratford 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Mar.
Unknown Rebel (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Held up in touch, disputing 2nd when hampered 2 out, 6th and beaten last, 7th of 14, 12l behind Smalib Monterg (10-2) at Stratford 2m hcp hdl (2) gd.
Sud Pacifique (IRE) 4-5fav (11-4) Keen led, mistakes, hit 6th, ridden when blundered 2 out, soon headed, weakened next, 3rd of 6, 10l behind Churchfield Champ (11-5) at Bangor 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Aug.
Smalib Monterg (FR) 6-1 (10-2) Held up towards rear, headway 3 out, 4th last, ran on well flat to lead towards finish, won at Stratford 2m hcp hdl (2) gd beating Monte Cavallo (10-12) by 1 3/4l, 14 ran.
Absinthe (IRE) 11-4 (10-13) Mid-division, headway 3 out, led after next, headed last, kept on, 2nd of 10, 3l behind Kian's Delight (10-13) at Perth 2m ltd hcp hdl (2) sft in Aug.
Ultimate 16-1 (11-4) Disputed lead until no extra from 2 out, 7th of 10, 20l behind Kian's Delight (10-13) at Perth 2m ltd hcp hdl (2) sft in Aug.
Laudatory 15-2 (10-3) Held up in touch, lost place 3rd, hampered 2 out, 7th last, no impression on leaders, 6th of 14, 7l behind Smalib Monterg (10-2) at Stratford 2m hcp hdl (2) gd.
Changing The Guard 9-4fav (11-12) Chased leading pair, went 2nd after 3 out, led last, quickened clear, won at Newton Abbot 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd beating First Beauty (11-5) by 2 1/2l, 10 ran.
Kayaan 14-1 (9-9) Held up towards rear, ridden and headway before 2 out, kept on towards towards finish, 3rd of 16, 4l behind Local Hero (10-8) at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Jul.
Battlecat 5-4fav (11-2) Always prominent, led 2 out, clear from last, easily, won at Fontwell 2m 2f nh nov hdl (4) gd beating Dubai Glory (10-1) by 15l, 9 ran.
Great Value (IRE) 33-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, headway after 3 out, went 3rd before 2 out, chased winner run-in, no impression, 2nd of 11, 5l behind Greyfriars Drummer (11-4) at Market Rasen 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Aug.
Nine Stories (IRE) 5-1 (11-12) Led, went right and not fluent 3rd, headed after next, led again 5th, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, weakened last, 4th of 7, 18l behind Cool Baranca (10-4) at Perth 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Apr.
Ugo (USA) 16-1 (11-10) Held up in rear, smooth headway on inside approaching 3 out, 3rd on bit 2 out, led last, driven out to hold on, won at Plumpton 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd beating King Ozzy (10-10) by nk, 10 ran.
Dubai Crest 13-2 (11-12) Mid-division, driven and outpaced on outside after 3 out, ridden after next, stayed on and every chance last, just held near finish, 2nd of 11, nk behind Tarkari (11-10) at Southwell 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Jul.
Star Of Aragon (IRE) 9-1 (11-0) Towards rear, mistake 6 out, soon no impression, last of 12, 41l behind Clarach (10-13) at Limerick 2m hdl in Jul.