Veteran Mortimers Cross remains in fine fettle and arrives on the back of a win at Kelso. He looks sure to make another bold bid but BENHEIR is just preferred. Rebecca Curtis' charge scored in testing ground over C&D last week and, with plenty of scope for further progress, is taken to follow up. Rhum has also won over these fences and will have come on for a recent pipe-opener. He makes more appeal than Gran Torino, a chase winner in Ireland and third over timber at this track recently. Global Power has won a beginners' chase but found life tougher in a handicap company last time.
Carruthers 33-1 (10-7) Chased leaders early, behind when hampered 5th, no danger after, weakened 4 out, tailed off, 13th of 19, well behind Bobs Worth (11-6) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs.
Benheir (IRE) 3-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, jumped slowly 3rd, soon lost place, mistake 5th, rallied 8th, joined leader 12th, led 2 out, not fluent last, stayed on well, won at Ffos Las 3m 1f hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy beating Master Neo (10-6) by 8l, 6 ran.
Mortimers Cross 12-1 (10-10) Chased leader, led 12th, narrowly headed 2 out (normal 4 out), led again bypassing omitted 2 out, hard driven run-in, stayed on gamely, all out, won at Kelso 4m hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft beating Captain Americo (10-13) by 1l, 8 ran.
Gran Torino (IRE) 11-2 (10-13) Held up in rear, under pressure 4 out, chased leaders 2 out, never able to challenge, 3rd of 8, 8l behind Stow (10-13) at Ffos Las 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy.
Global Power (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Mid-division on outside, in touch 10th, outpaced when hit 4 out, soon ridden, kept on same pace, no impression, 6th of 15, 18l behind Rolling Aces (11-12) at Newbury 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs.
Rhum (FR) 12-1 (11-10) Made most until ridden and headed before 3 out, weakened soon after, tailed off, 7th of 10, 28l behind Benbane Head (11-11) at Towcester 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Nov.