It will be a shock if VALCO DE TOUZAINE is beaten here after his very impressive all-the-way victory at Wetherby and Paul Nicholls' grey is likely to be aimed at much bigger things in the future as he's only a four-year-old. Buthelezi had some smart form over timber and would have needed his opening run over fences after a break so he looks the main threat. Successful point-to-pointer Carli King finished a long way last of of three on his chasing bow at Uttoxeter while Akula, who failed to finish in his first three starts over fences, at least got round at Uttoxeter last month though well behind the winner.
Akula (IRE) 25-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders in 3rd, every chance 3 out, one pace in 3rd before next, 3rd of 7, 20l behind Claret Cloak (11-3) at Towcester 2m nov chs (4) gf in Oct.
Buthelezi (USA) 6-1 (11-1) Led until 6th, hit 8th, 3rd and beaten 4 out, weakened before next, 4th of 5, 27l behind Balder Succes (11-8) at Warwick 2m nov chs (3) gs.
Carli King (IRE) 14-1 (11-2) Took keen hold, led until 3rd, dropped to 3rd at 7th, outpaced and no chance from 4 out, tailed off, last of 3, 26l behind Raya Star (11-2) at Uttoxeter 2m beg chs (4) sft.
Force Of Habit 33-1 (11-0) Always towards rear, jumped right 5 out, trailing from next, 6th of 8, well behind Rebel Fitz (11-5) at Killarney 2m 6f nov chs gf in Jul.
Valco De Touzaine (FR) 6-4fav (10-6) Not always fluent, made all, clear until before 4 out, ridden when went left 2 out, driven clear from last, won at Wetherby 2m (3) gs beating It's A Gimme (11-2) by 12l, 3 ran.