Topolski has looked potentially high-class in landing novice contests at Sandown and Newton Abbot and though this is a huge step-up in grade he could make the transition. Sire De Grugy's only defeat over timber came on his debut when runner-up to Cheltenham winner Bobs Worth. He easily landed a Grade 2 at Kempton last time and though all of his victories have come on soft ground there's no reason why he shouldn't handle today's conditions. Imperial Cup winner Alarazi couldn't complete the lucrative Sandown/ Cheltenham double despite starting favourite for the County Hurdle but is better than he showed that day while Perfect Smile has competed creditably at Grade 1 level in Ireland and can go well. Nicky Henderson has entered the four-year-old filly A MEDIA LUZ, who gets all the allowances and pulled too hard for her own good in the Triumph Hurdle. She had looked a very useful prospect when runner-up to Grandouet at Newbury in December and gets the nod to prove her Cheltenham run all wrong.
Alarazi (IRE) 6-1fav (10-4) Mid-division, outpaced 2 out, soon weakened, 15th of 26, 10l behind Final Approach (10-12) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl G3 (1) gd in Mar.
Andhaar 7-2 (11-12) Prominent on inner, challenged 2 out, led narrowly after last, hard ridden run-in, headed towards finish, lost 2nd close home, 3rd of 10, hd behind Whispering Death (10-12) at Doncaster 2m nov hdl (4) gd in Jan.
Desert Cry (IRE) 9-4 (11-5) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, chased leaders next, every chance last, no extra flat, 2nd of 10, 4l behind Bold Sir Brian (11-1) at Kelso 2m 2f nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Mar.
Iolith (GER) 5-2fav (10-0) Took keen hold, held up in close 4th, good headway on inside to lead before 2 out, headed soon after, kept on same pace last, 5th of 7, 2 1/2l behind Ciceron (10-3) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) sft in Feb.
Little Hercules (IRE) 11-4 (11-2) Raced kkenly, tracked leaders, ridden after 3 out, stayed on to challenge last, led flat, kept on, won at Musselburgh 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Feb beating Master Beau (11-2) by 2l, 12 ran.
Maggio (FR) 5-2 (10-13) Led in start and slowly away, soon with leaders, led narrowly 3rd, headed 2 out, soon ridden, kept on same pace, 2nd of 11, 4l behind Whoops A Daisy (11-0) at Towcester 2m nh nov hdl (3) hvy in Feb.
Perfect Smile (IRE) 14-1 (11-10) Held up in touch, close 4th approaching 2 out, soon ridden and one pace, 4th of 5, 6l behind First Lieutenant (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Dec.
Sire De Grugy (FR) 11-4 (11-6) Pulled hard, held up in touch, tracked leaders 4th, driven to lead 2 out, clear before last, ran on well, won at Kempton 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Feb beating Empire Levant (11-0) by 11l, 7 ran.
Topolski (IRE) 15-8 (11-6) Settled in mid-division, headway 3 out, led approaching last, soon clear, hard held, impressive, won at Newton Abbot 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Mar beating Falcon Island (11-0) by 4l, 11 ran.
Brampour (IRE) 20-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, effort 2 out, soon ridden, kept on same pace approaching last, no impression flat, 9th of 23, 11l behind Zarkandar (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Empire Levant (USA) 5-1 (11-0) Pulled hard in touch, tracked leaders 4th, effort 2 out, soon one pace, 2nd of 7, 11l behind Sire De Grugy (11-6) at Kempton 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Feb.
First In The Queue (IRE) 9-4 (10-7) Tracked leaders in 3rd and keen, pressed when blundered 2 out, under pressure when jumped left last, kept on well towards finish, won at Huntingdon 2m mdn hdl (4) gs in Mar beating Fontano (10-12) by 2 1/2l, 15 ran.
Polisky (FR) 7-2 (10-7) Took keen hold, chased leading pair, went 2nd well before 2 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 7l behind Sprinter Sacre (11-7) at Ascot 2m nov hdl (2) sft in Feb.
Oilily (IRE) 3-1 (11-3) Settled mid-division early, headway into 5th halfway, improved in 3rd before 3 out, travelled well to challenge before 2 out, ridden and no impression leader approaching 2 out, kept on same pace, 2nd of 10, 8l behind Macville (11-3) at Down Royal 2m mrs nov hdl G3 (1) in Nov.
A Media Luz (FR) 12-1 (10-7) Raced keenly, held up in touch, lost place 2 out, soon weakened and pulled up before last, in a race won by Zarkandar (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar, 23 ran.