Class usually tells in this top early season chase for the two milers and TWIST MAGIC has plenty of that about him and gets the nomination, while stablemate Natal and Mahogany Blaze are of interest. Twist Magic has already notched up five chase wins at around this trip and acts well with cut. He is the best horse here, by virtue of wins in Grade 1 races at Aintree, Sandown in the Tingle Creek, and Punchestown and the conditions of the race here mean that he will be tough to beat. He goes well when fresh and he is preferred to fellow Nicholls inmate Natal. The latter finished less than two lengths behind Twist Magic off level weights at Punchestown and with his pilot's 5lb claim here he has arguably got the best chance at the weights, so he is given plenty of respect. Mahogany Blaze has plenty to find on official figures but comes from a yard in flying form and has some very good efforts on his CV, not least when still going well alongside Tidal Bay at Aintree in April before tipping up. He may well be better than his official mark and is not dismissed lightly. Ashley Brook is a light of former days, things may happen a bit quickly for Howle Hill and Bishop's Bridge could well be best of the rest. Twist Magic can take the 2008 renewal of this classy contest.
Twist Magic (FR) 6-4fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, mistake 2nd, led travelling well after 3 out, ridden 2 out, strongly pressed from last, kept on run-in, won at Punchestown 2m chs Grd 1 (1) gd in Apr beating Natal (11-12) by 2l, 9 ran.
Natal (FR) 12-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, 3rd 4 out, ridden in 2nd before 2 out, closed on winner before last, stayed on well run-in, 2nd of 9, 2l behind Twist Magic (11-12) at Punchestown 2m chs Grd 1 (1) gd in Apr.
Howle Hill (IRE) 7-1 (11-2) Not fluent, held up, mistake 5th, behind when pulled up at the 6th in race won by Andreas (11-2) at Sandown 2m chs Grd 2 (1) gd in Apr, 11 ran.
Ashley Brook (IRE) 16-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, jumped slowly and lost place 3rd, behind before pulled up 3 out in race won by Lough Derg (11-11) at Fontwell 2m 4f hdl Grd 2 (1) gd in Feb, 8 ran.
Roman Ark 40-1 (11-12) In touch, lost place from 9th, no danger after, 11th of 29, well behind Gwanako (11-8) at Aintree 2m 5f hcp chs (2) gd in Apr.
Mahogany Blaze (FR) 6-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, one pace from 3 out, 5th of 11, 17l behind Andreas (11-2) at Sandown 2m chs Grd 2 (1) gd in Apr.
Mister Quasimodo 9-2 (11-11) Chased leaders, lost place 10th, under pressure from 3 out, soon beaten, 3rd of 9, 28l behind King Louis (11-2) at Newbury 2m 2f hcp chs (2) gd in Apr.
Bishop's Bridge (IRE) 13-2 (10-13) Mid-division, headway approaching 7th, stayed on same pace approaching last, not chance with winner, 2nd of 17, 6l behind The Polomoche (11-12) at Stratford 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gf in Oct.
Pauntley Gofa 11-2 (11-10) Led until 6th, tracked leader, led approaching 3 out, ridden and headed 2 out, soon one pace, 3rd of 8, 12l behind Classic Role (11-9) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gd in Oct.