A small but select field head to post and ALTIOR (NAP) can follow in the hoofprints of last year's scorer Vyta Du Roc. Nicky Henderson has made little secret of the regard in which he holds the son of High Chapparal and he showed plenty of resolution when scrambling home at Ascot after flattening the final flight. Maputo is another shrewd recruit to the game for John Ferguson and he looked as good as ever when scoring at Kempton. The ground is a slight question mark against him, though he has won on a softer surface on the Flat. Simon Squirrel has reportedly had breathing issues though he won impressively enough on his hurdling debut at Newton Abbot. Mister Miyagi beat Drumlee Sunset when they met in a maiden at the track, though both would need to improve in order to take a hand. Viens Chercher steps up in grade having slammed weaker opposition at Sedgefield and Market Rasen.
Altior (IRE) 4-5fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, led on bend after 3 out, joined and not fluent 2 out, pressed when blundered last, soon headed, rallied to regain lead final 150 yards and soon asserted, won at Ascot 2m fll (3) gd in Oct beating Ch'tibello (11-4) by 1 1/4l, 9 ran.
Maputo 5-6fav (11-6) Chased leaders, led approaching 2 out, quickened clear last, ran on strongly, impressive, won at Kempton 2m lst (1) gd in Oct beating Swansea Mile (11-8) by 6l, 5 ran.
Simon Squirrel (IRE) 5-2fav (10-12) Keen early, tracked leaders on inside, went 2nd before 2 out, led at hurdle, clear last, readily, won at Newton Abbot 2m 2f (4) gs in Oct beating Barranco Valley (10-12) by 2l, 9 ran.
Viens Chercher (IRE) 7-4fav (11-5) Made all, ridden before 2 out, pressed last, joined towards finish, just prevailed, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f (4) gd in Sep beating Anomaly (11-5) by ns, 6 ran.
Drumlee Sunset (IRE) 5-4fav (11-0) Tracked leader, led 2 out, ridden and joined when not fluent last, headed and edged left flat, no impression final 75 yards, 2nd of 7, 2 1/4l behind Mister Miyagi (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m mdn (3) gd in Oct.
Mister Miyagi (IRE) 7-2 (11-0) Held up in rear, headway 4th, went 2nd when not fluent 2 out, challenged last, led flat, ran on well, won at Cheltenham 2m mdn (3) gd in Oct beating Drumlee Sunset (11-0) by 2 1/4l, 7 ran.