Four of the declared five runners failed to complete their latest starts and the vote goes to the exception FABALU. His fitness has to be taken on trust as it was back in April last year when he scored in testing ground at Chepstow, but Donald McCain's chaser can race of a 7lb lower mark here with his conditional's claim taken into account. Swing Bill was all at sea in the Bechers Handicap at Aintree earlier this month but this looks more his grade, while Mumbles Head was also pulled-up at the same track in October and the handicapper has taken pity dropping him 8lb. Victory Gunner and Power Pack Jack both found life tougher off today's marks last time having won their penultimate starts.
Swing Bill (FR) 15-2 (11-0) Held up in rear, not fluent 10th, hampered 11th, mistake 13th (bechers brook), 7th and ridden 4 out, no impression, soon weakened, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by West End Rocker (10-10) at Aintree 3m 2f lstd hcp chs (1) hvy, 14 ran.
Fabalu (IRE) 1-2fav (11-4) Made most, ridden approaching 2 out, stayed on gamely flat, won at Chepstow 3m 2f nov chs (3) hvy in Apr '10 beating The Ferbane Man (10-12) by 3l, 4 ran.
Mumbles Head (IRE) 15-2 (11-9) Mistake 3rd, always behind, tailed off 5 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Nikola (10-11) at Aintree 3m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Oct, 10 ran.
Victory Gunner (IRE) 10-1 (9-12) Held up in rear, headway 8th, lost place after next, behind when pulled up 4 out, in a race won by Le Beau Bai (10-13) at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy, 14 ran.
Power Pack Jack (IRE) 4-1fav (11-5) Towards rear, stumbled badly 10th, not much room when mistake and unseated rider 12th, in a race won by Drybrook Bedouin (11-8) at Exeter 4m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs, 13 ran.