VALDEZ could complete a quick double for Alan King and Choc Thornton as he's already won a couple of bumpers and only found King's Flagship a neck too good on his hurdling debut at Wincanton, a track similar in nature to this. Another dual bumper winner, Peintre Ster, returns from a year on the sidelines while Mississippi Blues has been well beaten in both starts over hurdles so far. Softsong is interesting, however, as the French import was far from disgraced in a competitive event at Cheltenham last month and can only improve for the experience. He's preferred to newcomers Shouda and St Ignatius with Sparville possibly best of the rest.
Crimson Monarch (USA) 40-1 (8-10) Mid-division, pushed along over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 8th of 11, 16l behind Six Of Clubs (9-12) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp 0-60 (6) pol (flat).
Mississippi Blues 33-1 (10-12) With leader, led approaching 5th, headed after 3 out, no extra from 2 out, 4th of 10, 22l behind Tominator (10-12) at Bangor 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Peintre Ster (IRE) 20-1 (10-9) Behind, plugged on from 2 out, never involved, 7th of 18, 37l behind Same Difference (10-12) at Lingfield 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov '11.
Rasteau (IRE) 50-1 (8-0) Prominent early, tracked leaders, lost place over 3f out, well held after, 6th of 7, 11l behind Dannios (9-9) at Yarmouth 7f app hcp 0-70 (5) gs in Aug (flat).
Royal Defence (IRE) 11-1 (8-11) Led after 1f, headed 8f out, chased leader until 4f out, weakened over 2f out, 6th of 9, 30l behind Beyeh (9-1) at Yarmouth 1m 6f hcp (6) hvy in Oct (flat).
Shouda (IRE) 7-1 (9-5) Always towards rear, driven inside final 4f, struggling after, tailed off, last of 13, 46l behind Captain Cardington (8-10) at Windsor 1m 4f hcp 0-70 (5) hvy in Oct (flat).
Softsong (FR) 22-1 (11-0) Tracked leader, took keen hold, led 2nd, not fluent 5th, headed when mistake last, weakened flat, 5th of 12, 13l behind Court Minstrel (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m mdn hdl (3) gs in Oct.
Soutine (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Mistake 1st, mid-division, struggling 4 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 9th of 14, well behind Mr Mole (10-12) at Exeter 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Sparville (IRE) 12-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, weakened approaching 3 out where mistake, 9th of 14, 43l behind Hold Court (10-12) at Ludlow 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
St Ignatius 20-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, led halfway, ridden and headed no chance with winner when lost 2nd over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong lost 2 places, 5th of 15, 7l behind Moderator (9-0) at Epsom Downs 1m 4f app hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Sep (flat).
Tadabeer 33-1 (10-12) Mid-division, hit 3rd, outpaced 3 out, soon weakened, 10th of 11, well behind Kapga De Cerisy (11-5) at Sandown 2m 4yo hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Turjuman (USA) 100-1 (11-1) Held up in touch in mid-division, struggling 5th, tailed off, 13th of 15, well behind Sonoran Sands (10-2) at Huntingdon 2m mdn hdl (4) sft in Mar.
Valdez 6-5fav (10-12) Took keen hold and held up in mid-division, good headway on inside to chase winner approaching 2 out, upsides and every chance when hit last, no extra and held final 100 yards, 2nd of 13, nk behind Kings Flagship (10-12) at Wincanton 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.