EXPRESS LEADER created a sizeable impression at Wincanton and can add his name to a roll of honour that includes Best Mate, Cork All Star, Rhinestone Cowboy and Back In Front to name but four of the last ten winners; win, lose or draw make a note of the winner's name. Gus Macrae could emerge as one of the biggest dangers with McMurrough also well worth a place on the short-list. The selection made his debut just over a week ago in a bumper where one of Nicky Henderson's was sent off a well backed favourite. Regardless of whether the jolly ran to form or not it's doubtful that he'd have been able to hold a candle to the winner who did it as he liked. We'll find out what that form is worth this afternoon. Gus Macrae carried a big reputation to the track with him but was weak in the on-course market and only stayed on at the one pace to finish third. He gave the impression that he was one to keep on the ride side of and should be helped by Seamie Heffernan taking over from an amateur in the saddle. There are a number of talented runners amongst the opposition but Malcolm Jefferson knows what's required to win a bumper here and it's interesting that he travels south with McMurrough. He was still a touch green when winning last time and is a promising individual who should give a good account but we'll take Express Leader to lead them home.
Express Leader 2-1 (11-4) Prominent, led on bit over 2f out, shaken up over 1f out, soon clear, easily, won at Wincanton 2m nhf (5) sft beating Sergeant Harper (11-4) by 7l, 12 ran.
Last One Standing 13-2 (11-6) Led, headed over 4f out, outpaced 3f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 2 1/2l behind The Panama Kid (10-11) at Southwell 2m nhf (6) gd in Oct.
McMurrough (IRE) 7-2 (11-7) Held up mid-division, steady headway 5f out, led inside final furlong, kept on, won at Kelso 2m nhf (6) gd in Oct beating Sitting Tennant (11-0) by 3/4l, 13 ran.
Pontop (IRE) 20-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, never dangerous, 6th of 13, 19l behind Cloudy Times (11-4) at Aintree 2m 1f nhf (4) sft in Oct.
Shinrock Paddy (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Led, headed after 6f, remained prominent, challenged straight, led well over 1f out, soon drifted left when strongly pressed, kept on well, won at Gowran Park 2m nhf gs in Oct beating Gallant Light (11-5) by 3/4l, 20 ran.
The Big Orse 6-4fav (11-8) Led, ridden and headed over 2f out, kept on same pace, 4th of 14, 12l behind Mad Max (11-4) at Newbury 2m nhf (6) sft in Jan.
Gus Macrae (IRE) 3-1fav (11-10) Mid-division, 8th 5f out, ridden along in moderate 5th when veered left 2f out, kept on well without threatening to go 3rd final furlong, eased close home, 3rd of 18, 4 1/2l behind Oligarch Society (11-6) at Gowran Park 2m nhf gs in Oc.
Iveagh House (IRE) 7-1 (11-1) Mid-division, progress into 6th 4f out, ridden in 2nd 2 1/2f out, kept on same pace without threatening winner final furlong, 2nd of 17, 3/4l behind Bodalboy (11-11) at Killarney 2m 1f nhf gd in May.
Quell The Storm (FR) Sleeping Car gelding out of Hot D'or.
Rock Salmon 66-1 (11-2) Held up, headway 3f out, soon ridden, stayed on, no chance with winner, 2nd of 12, 10l behind The Big Orse (10-13) at Newbury 2m nhf (5) sft in Dec.
Song Sung Blue (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Mid-division, ridden and headway over 2f out, every chance soon after, hung left inside final furlong and weakened, 2nd of 15, 4l behind Tataniano (11-0) at Chepstow 2m nhf (6) gd in Oct.
Dizzy Whizz 14-1 (10-7) With leaders, pushed along and slightly outpaced over 3f out, rallied 2f out, green, wandered and led inside final furlong, driven out, won at Plumpton 2m 2f mdn nhf (6) gf in Oct beating Ruby Isabel (10-7) by 2l, 11 ran.
Lindeman (IRE) 9-2 (11-0) Mid-division, ridden and headway over 2f out, soon hung left, ran on well to lead inside final furlong, ridden out, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f mrs nhf (4) gd in Apr beating Gold Reef (11-0) by 2 1/2l, 20 ran.
Madame Mado (FR) 9-4fav (10-12) Held up in touch, went 2nd over 2f out, led over 1f out, quickened clear inside final furlong, won at Warwick 2m mrs nhf (5) gs beating Santia (11-5) by 5l, 20 ran.