Kap West won by 22 lengths at Towcester earlier this month, with Phar Again well behind, but distances on that stiff track can become exaggerated and he's a massive 14lb higher now. Venetian Lad disappointed over a longer trip here last time and Chicago Alley is usually worth opposing but Catch The Rascal is a recent C&D winner and still at the right end of the handicap. SWAINSON is back on a winning mark and ran a bit better than the final result suggests on his return from a break - he gets a tentative vote.
Zhukov (IRE) 6-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, challenged 7th, not fluent next, mistake 4 out, soon outpaced, 3rd of 4, 14l behind Blue Hills (11-6) at Newton Abbot 2m hcp chs 0-100 (5) sft.
Chicago Alley 10-1 (10-1) Held up in touch, went 3rd before 3 out, soon chased winner, ridden before last, no impression, 2nd of 7, 14l behind Harry Flashman (11-7) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in May.
Bobby Bullock (IRE) 6-1 (10-13) Tracked leader, not fluent 11th, ridden after 12th, not fluent and outpaced 3 out, mistake and weakened next, 4th of 7, 23l behind Tuskar Rock (11-3) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd.
Kap West (FR) 9-4fav (10-8) Held up on inside, headway 4th, not fluent 6th, led 3 out, soon clear, easily, won at Towcester 2m 3f hcp chs 0-100 (5) gs beating Ours (11-1) by 22l, 10 ran.
Captain Crackers (IRE) 9-4 (10-8) Tracked leader to 4th, remained in touch, lost place 10th, soon ridden, weakened and pulled up after 12th, in a race won by Ballagio (10-13) at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gf in Sep, 5 ran.
Swainson (USA) 8-1 (10-3) Led and set steady pace, headed after 6th tracked leader, led again after 4 out until after next, 3rd and beaten approaching last, weakened flat, 3rd of 4, 27l behind Rackham Lerouge (11-12) at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs.
Phar Again (IRE) 25-1 (11-2) Led until 6th, prominent until after 3 out, soon well beaten, went 3rd flat, 3rd of 10, 30l behind Kap West (10-8) at Towcester 2m 3f hcp chs 0-100 (5) gs.
Venetian Lad 7-2fav (11-4) Chased leaders, went 2nd 6th until 3 out, weakened next, tailed off, 6th of 9, 40l behind Cypress Grove (11-12) at Fontwell 3m 2f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gs.
Catch The Rascal (IRE) 5-2fav (10-9) Held up in rear, steady headway 9th, good headway to lead 3 out, soon clear, driven out flat, won at Fontwell 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) gs beating Burnt Again (11-7) by 2l, 8 ran.
Mortar 66-1 (12-1) Hit 1st, chased leader until before 13th, weakened next, poor 4th when mistake 4 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Postmaster (12-1) at Folkestone 3m 1f hts chs (6) gd in May, 6 ran.