Last year's winner Roberto Goldback has to carry a stone more this time around, though is actually only a pound higher in the ratings. But he was a long way behind Wyck Hill in a later run over track and also had a rear view of On Trend and Opening Batsman in respective runs at Sandown and Kempton. Triolo D'Alene will be popular as he was a winner in this grade last season while Bouggler won a Listed handicap at Market Rasen, though is 10lb higher now. Twirling Magnet and Al Co are others with recent winning form and Quinz could be well handicapped. Buddy Bolero and Merry King are open to further improvement this winter but so is SAME DIFFERENCE. Quite highly tried in his first season over fences, his form ties in closely with a number of these but he was still improving in the spring and could go very close here if reproducing his second to Quentin Collonges in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April.
Big Fella Thanks 14-1 (10-9) In touch, outpaced 12th, tried to close 12th, weakened before 3 out, tailed off, 5th of 7, 50l behind Champion Court (10-7) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G2 (1) gs in Apr.
Roberto Goldback (IRE) 25-1 (11-6) Chased leaders, lost place 25th (valentines), soon behind, no chance when hampered and unseated rider last, in a race won by Auroras Encore (10-3) at Aintree 4m 3f (1) gs in Apr, 40 ran.
Opening Batsman (IRE) 13-2 (11-12) Towards rear, headway before 12th on outer, quickly weakened 5 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Battle Group (10-9) at Aintree 3m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) gd in Apr, 18 ran.
Same Difference (IRE) 15-2 (11-7) Chased leaders, mistake 3rd, went 2nd 3 out, led narrowly last, headed flat, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 19, 2l behind Quentin Collonges (10-12) at Sandown 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr.
Bouggler 22-1 (10-11) Always prominent on outside, challenged 4 out, led approaching next, stayed on well from 2 out, won at Market Rasen 2m 6f listed hcp chs (1) gd in Sep beating Rob Conti (9-11) by 4 1/2l, 16 ran.
Bless The Wings (IRE) 33-1 (11-4) Mid-division, outpaced 4 out, 12th when blundered 3 out, soon weakened, pulled up before last, in a race won by Carrickboy (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Mar, 22 ran.
Triolo D'alene (FR) 2-1fav (10-9) Held up towards rear, headway 5 out, led 2 out, driven clear last, ran on strongly, won at Huntingdon 3m hcp chs (2) gd in Apr beating Junior (11-12) by 4 1/2l, 9 ran.
Houblon Des Obeaux (FR) 12-5 (11-8) With leader, pushed along after 15th, not fluent 4 out, soon ridden, 4th and outpaced by leaders from 2 out, not fluent last, last of 4, 7l behind Ackertac (11-5) at Cheltenham 3m 1f nov chs (2) gs in Apr.
Twirling Magnet (IRE) 7-1 (11-8) Held up in rear, hit 15th, headway after 4 out, led going best last, ridden and stayed on well flat, won at Cheltenham 3m nov chs (2) gd in Oct beating Pantxoa (11-8) by 4 1/2l, 9 ran.
Quinz (FR) 12-1 (10-9) Slightly hampered 1st, chased leaders, led 5th, narrowly headed 3 out, lost 2nd next, no impression on leading duo, no extra in 4th flat, 4th of 13, 11l behind Opening Batsman (10-5) at Kempton 3m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Feb.
Wyck Hill (IRE) 11-2 (11-8) Soon tracked leaders, beaten when mistake 2 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 14, 9l behind Carrig Millie (9-11) at Punchestown 3m 1f hcp chs 0-150 hvy in Apr.
Buddy Bolero (IRE) 7-1 (11-6) Held up in touch on inside, not fluent 20th, chased leaders 4 out, ridden and no impression before 2 out, kept on under pressure flat, just failed for 3rd, 4th of 16, 20l behind Back In Focus (11-6) at Cheltenham 4m am nov chs (2) gs in Mar.
Al Co (FR) 12-1 (11-0) Held up well off the pace towards rear, steady headway on outside approaching 5 out, in touch when went left 2 out, staying on disputing 4th and plenty to do before last, where left 3rd, strong run flat, led final 75 yards, won at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) gd in Oct beating What A Warrior (10-12) by 1/2l, 14 ran.
Merry King (IRE) 8-1 (10-12) Mistake 1st, mid-division, blundered 5th, outpaced 4 out, weakened next, tailed off, 13th of 24, well behind Golden Chieftain (10-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Mar.
On Trend (IRE) 25-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, pushed along before 3 out, weakened 3 out, 8th of 19, 29l behind Quentin Collonges (10-12) at Sandown 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr.
There's No Panic (IRE) 14-1 (10-8) Mid-division, headway to chase leaders 13th, went 3rd 4 out, ridden after next, weakened from 2 out, 6th of 19, 18l behind Quentin Collonges (10-12) at Sandown 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr.