Or D'Oudaires will have to improve again to complete the hat-trick while Cruchain may not be up to winning in this grade any more. Larks Lad possibly has too much weight while Monarch's Way has been disappointing on the whole over fences. STRONGBOW'S LEGEND went through a rough patch last year but confirmed he was back to his best when winning easily at Southwell last time. A penalty may not be enough to lower his colours here, though market support for either Rockiteer or the returning Suburban Bay would be interesting and City Press isn't out of this either. Double Chocolate possibly need further.
Larks Lad (IRE) 11-2 (11-1) Chased leaders, jumped left and bumped rival 1st, challenged 8th, led after 4 out, headed after 3 out, led again next, headed last, one pace, 2nd of 8, 9l behind Hell's Bay (11-4) at Worcester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in May.
Magical Legend 50-1 (10-11) In touch, pushed along approaching 8th, soon lost place, detatched 11th, pulled up 5 out, in a race won by Sizing Santiago (10-13) at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Nov, 11 ran.
Monarch's Way 16-1 (11-1) Held up, in touch when fell 10th, in a race won by That's The Deal (10-2) at Fakenham 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd, 8 ran.
Rockiteer (IRE) 5-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 3rd, led before 6th, not fluent and headed 15th, 4th and well beaten before 4 out, 4th of 8, 27l behind Billie Magern (11-12) at Ludlow 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in May.
City Press (IRE) 3-1fav (11-3) Held up in rear, not always fluent, hampered 10th, mistake 12th, stayed on from 2 out, went 3rd before last, no impression on front pair, 3rd of 8, 10l behind That's The Deal (10-2) at Fakenham 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd.
Strongbows Legend 7-2fav (11-9) Made all, clear 2 out, stayed on well, won at Southwell 2m 4f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gd beating Peak Seasons (9-7) by 14l, 8 ran.
Double Chocolate 9-4fav (10-1) Jumped right on occasions, led and clear to before 4 out, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, no impression in 3rd before last, 3rd of 5, 11l behind Bold Perk (10-10) at Fontwell 3m 2f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd in May.
Suburban Bay 10-3 (10-12) Held up in touch in rear, not always fluent, ridden in close 3rd after 14th, went 2nd when mistake 4 out, no extra final 100 yards, 3rd of 5, 7l behind Red Not Blue (11-5) at Worcester 2m 7f nov chs (4) gd in Aug.
Cruchain (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, headway after 4 out, went 2nd before last, stayed on, unable to reach winner, 2nd of 14, 1l behind Or d'Oudairies (10-7) at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gd in May.
Or d'Oudairies (FR) 8-1 (10-7) Held up in rear, headway approaching 5th, challenged after 7th, led next, not fluent 9th, clear 2 out, pushed out, won at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gd in May beating Cruchain (11-7) by 1l, 14 ran.
Health Is Wealth (IRE) 10-1 (11-9) Chased leaders, pushed along and lost place approaching 8th, tailed off, 6th of 11, 36l behind Wester Ross (11-9) at Newton Abbot 2m hcp chs 0-105 (4) gf.
Farmer Frank 3-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 5 out, pushed along after next, every chance from 3 out, no extra after last, 2nd of 3, 5l behind Artic Pride (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 6f nov hts chs (6) gd in May.