A number of these have been a little disappointing this term but VINO GRIEGO finally came good at Cheltenham three weeks ago after a few near-misses and that may have just given him the confidence to follow up against these more experienced chasers as a 10lb rise in the weights looks justified. Cappa Bleu has another prep race ahead of the Grand National but this looks too far for Idarah and Tatenen is another suited by shorter trips. Saint Are would have a chance if recapturing the form he showed at Aintree last spring and the Pipe pair, Problema Tic and Ashkazar, are others potentially well treated though the latter is a law unto himself. Brackloon High fell in The Rainbow Hunter's race here in November and continues to be plagued by jumping problems but is still preferred to the inconsistent Major Malarkey.
Cappa Bleu (IRE) 2-1 (11-10) Held up in rear, headway 12th, hampered 4 out, chased winner before 3 out, beaten next, 2nd of 5, 28l behind Across The Bay (11-10) at Carlisle 3m grad ch (2) hvy in Nov.
Tatenen (FR) 40-1 (10-11) Soon prominent on outside, led 12th, hit 4 out, headed after next, soon weakened, 6th of 14, well behind Unioniste (9-9) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs Grd 3 (1) hvy in Dec.
Saint Are (FR) 9-1 (10-11) In touch, driven and outpaced when left 4th 3 out, soon ridden, no impression before next, 4th of 8, 11l behind Master Overseer (10-0) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) hvy in Dec.
Problema Tic (FR) 8-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, jumped slowly 3rd, headway 11th, 4th when fell 17th, in a race won by Hello Bud (10-0) at Aintree 3m 2f Listed hcp chs (1) hvy in Dec, 16 ran.
Ashkazar (FR) 12-1 (11-6) Never travelled in rear, reminders after 4th, mistake 15th, tailed off 18th, soon pulled up, in a race won by Monbeg Dude (10-0) at Cheltenham 3m 3f hcp chs Grd 3 (1) sft in Nov, 16 ran.
The Rainbow Hunter 15-2 (11-7) Held up in rear in touch, outpaced after 13th, lost touch 5 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Sona Sasta (9-11) at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy in Dec, 7 ran.
Idarah (USA) 16-1 (11-11) Always towards rear, slowly 4th, never dangerous, 6th of 9, 22l behind Eastlake (10-8) at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy.
Vino Griego (FR) 25-1 (10-12) Mid-division, mistake 9th, headway to track leading pair before 4 out, led before 2 out, clear last, ridden out flat, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov chs (2) hvy in Jan beating Renard D'Irlande (10-8) by 19l, 13 ran.
Brackloon High (IRE) 10-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, mistakes throughout, pushed along 3 out, weakened last, 4th of 7, 10l behind On Trend (9-12) at Sandown 3m hcp chs (2) hvy.
Major Malarkey (IRE) 17-2 (11-5) Held up in mid-division, not much room 8th, ridden and struggling before 14th, tailed off, 6th of 13, 47l behind Rigadin De Beauchene (10-3) at Warwick 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Jan.