GARLETON was only beaten a head at Kelso last month and this looks easier. The 12-year-old proved he was still capable of winning at this level when scoring at Wetherby last year and gets the nod having made a long trek. Hold On Julio has claims on his second at Kempton in January and Tullamore Dew finished just ahead of Fruity O'Rooney with Monkerty Tunkerty further behind when fourth in a Cheltenham handicap last month. He's another to consider along with last year's winner Knighton Combe, who can race off the same mark today but is facing much stiffer competition.
Hold On Julio (IRE) 10-3fav (10-12) Tracked leaders and keen, ridden before last, kept and lost 4th place close home, 5th of 9, 9l behind Seymour Eric (9-11) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
Garleton (IRE) 14-1 (11-2) Led, hard pressed 2 out, soon ridden, rallied when headed narrowly flat, just held, 2nd of 8, hd behind Always Right (11-2) at Kelso 2m 7f lst chs (1) sft in Mar.
Fruity O'Rooney 10-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, blundered 11th, lost place 4 out, soon outpaced, ridden and kept on under pressure from 2 out, no impression, 5th of 24, 14l behind Golden Chieftain (10-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Mar.
Monkerty Tunkerty 12-1 (10-7) In touch, outpaced 3 out, kept on same pace under pressure from next, never on terms, 7th of 24, 22l behind Golden Chieftain (10-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Mar.
Pearlysteps 8-1 (11-7) Prominent, ridden after 15th, outpaced in 3rd 4 out, hit next, no extra from 2 out, 4th of 9, 24l behind Ballyoliver (10-10) at Ludlow 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Feb.
Mr Gardner (IRE) 12-1 (10-5) Led until 4th, tracked leader, lost place when hampered 3 out, no impression after, plugged on, 4th of 11, 11l behind Pacha Du Polder (11-0) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Mar.
Tullamore Dew (IRE) 33-1 (10-3) Tracked leaders, outpaced 3 out, soon ridden, kept on under pressure from next, no impression, 4th of 24, 13l behind Golden Chieftain (10-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Mar.
Pentiffic (NZ) 5-1 (11-0) Held up on outside, not fluent 4th or 10th, effort from 13th, outpaced 4 out, well beaten after next, 5th of 10, 37l behind Master Overseer (11-11) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy in Jan.
Knighton Combe 17-2 (12-5) Chased leaders, lost place 8th, rallied next, chased leading pair approaching 12th where jumped slowly, lost place 13th, struggling when blundered 17th, rallied to poor 4th flat, 4th of 10, 43l behind Merrion Square (11-9) at Sandown 3m am chs 0-130 (3) sft in Mar.
Pigeon Island 14-1 (10-10) Towards rear, not fluent and ridden 9th, well behind 4 out, ran on flat, never nearer, 6th of 12, 7l behind Cedre Bleu (11-2) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp chs (2) gs in Mar.
Rockiteer (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, hit 3rd, jumped left 5th, mistake 10th, not fluent and lost place next, behind 13th, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Romanesco (10-5) at Fakenham 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Oct, 14 ran.
Kilcrea Asla (IRE) 28-1 (9-12) Mid-division, headway 7th, not much room 8th, led 3 out, driven out, won at Chepstow 2m 3f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Mar beating Triptico (10-8) by 1 1/4l, 8 ran.
Bahrain Storm (IRE) 100-1 (11-1) Mid-division, lost place 13th, soon weakened, behind when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Same Difference (11-0) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Amateur Handicap Chase (0-145) (5yo+) (2) gs in Mar, 24 ran.