A potentially high-quality bumper in which the outcome is likely to revolve around the respective levels of improvement made by the leading players. Tony McCoy has an outstanding record in these contests for Rebecca Curtis so his decision to partner Westward Point for Warren Greatrex, a most impressive scorer on his Worcester debut, jumps off the page. However, the Curtis representative, MONKEY KINGDOM, was far from disgraced behind Southfield Theatre here last time and his useful conditional's 10lb claim could be all-important. He represents a value option and has strong each-way claims. Fascino Rustico has his first start for Paul Nicholls after landing a Carlisle bumper for Ron O'Leary and is clearly well thought of by connections, whilst Hannibal The Great did the job nicely on his Plumpton debut too. Keep an eye on The Liquidator on his first run for David Pipe as he looked a useful sort in the making when runner-up at Fairyhouse back in April when seemingly unfancied.
Fascino Rustico 11-8fav (10-10) Held up towards rear, headway halfway, led on bit 2f out, ran on well, eased last 100 yards, won at Carlisle 2m 1f NH flat (6) gd in Apr beating Kris Cross (11-2) by 4l, 9 ran.
Hannibal The Great (IRE) 7-2 (10-9) Chased leaders, ridden to lead well over 1f out, soon hard ridden, ran on strongly, won at Plumpton 2m 2f mdn NH flat (6) sft in Oct beating Mixologist (11-0) by 4l, 7 ran.
Monkey Kingdom 9-2 (11-7) Tracked leaders, led over 3f out, ridden and headed over 1f out, no impression on winner inside final furlong, 2nd of 17, 5l behind Southfield Theatre (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m NH flat (4) gs in Oct.
Westward Point 16-1 (11-10) Made all, soon clear, hung left over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, unchallenged, won at Worcester 2m mdn nat hunt flat (6) gs in Oct beating Woodpole Academy (11-10) by 8l, 11 ran.
Anonis (GER) 9-2fav (12-0) Mid-division, good progress from over 4f out, soon close up, 3rd 2f out, soon every chance under pressure, kept on same pace close home, 3rd of 17, hd behind Articular (10-11) at Thurles 2m NH flat in Mar '11.
Clondaw Knight (IRE) 4-6 (11-7) Ww rr, gng well in 8th 1/2way, prog aftr 4out, ld on bit 2out, unextended, won at Inch 3m ire ptp gd in Apr beating Chosen Dream (11-7) by 8l, 9 ran.
Little Pop Pasternak gelding out of Flagship Daisy May.
Makethedifference (IRE) Shantou gelding out of La Panthere.
Mystifiable Kayf Tara gelding out of Royal Keel.
Perfect Candidate (IRE) Winged Love horse out of Dansana.
The Liquidator 33-1 (10-6) Held up towards rear, good headway in 6th entering straight, ridden in 3rd 2f out, 2nd 1f out, kept on final furlong, pressed winner closing stages, 2nd of 19, 1/2l behind Clondaw Kaempfer (10-6) at Fairyhouse 2m nhf gs in Apr.