Many of these would probably more comfortable on the chase course, including last year's Grand National winner Don't Push It, Welsh National fancy Le Beau Bai and Junior, a promising third here on his reappearance. As well as the latter, David Pipe also saddles top weight Ashkazar, Raslan and C&D winner Buena Vista but the most interesting of his quintet may be CHARTREUX. He hasn't raced since disappointing in the Albert Bartlett at the Festival here last March but that isn't necessarily a disadvantage with a Pipe horse and he'd looked a very progressive stayer previously. Den Of Iniquity won a well-contested jumpers' bumper at Southwell last month in good style and looks a big danger off bottom weight while the consistent Viking Blond and the lightly-raced King's Legacy can't be ignored in an open race.
Ashkazar (FR) 40-1 (11-6) Driven and lost prominent position 1st, soon behind, driven 3 out, ridden to chase leaders after next, kept on same pace approaching last, no impression, 5th of 12, 14l behind Karabak (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) gs in Dec.
Mobaasher (USA) 20-1 (10-12) Held up mid-division, hit 16th, reminders soon after, soon weakened, pulled up 4 out, in a race won by Merigo (10-0) at Ayr 4m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr, 30 ran.
Raslan 25-1 (11-6) Tracked leader, lost place and reminders 9th, under pressure when hampered 3 out, soon behind, 11th of 16, 47l behind Lush Life (11-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Dec.
Le Beau Bai (FR) 6-1 (11-1) Disputed lead, advantage before 4 out, joined next, ridden and narrowly headed 2 out, stayed challenging gamely, still upsides last, no extra close home, 2nd of 8, nk behind Superior Wisdom (10-8) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Nov.
Buena Vista (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Mid-division, outpaced 8th, kept on under pressure approaching last, never on terms, 7th of 16, 10l behind Lush Life (11-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Dec.
Ringaroses 10-1 (11-0) In touch on inner, hampered 2nd, headway approaching 9th to track leaders, led after 2 out, stayed on well to clear from last, won at Aintree 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Apr beating Carsonstown Boy (11-0) by 6l, 21 ran.
Don't Push It (IRE) 25-1 (11-2) Mid-division on outside, headway and in touch 5th, lost place 8th, behind when hampered 3 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Lush Life (11-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Dec, 16 ran.
Gwanako (FR) 33-1 (10-10) Held up towards rear, headway after 4 out, ridden when fell 2 out, in a race won by Little Josh (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Nov, 18 ran.
Viking Blond (FR) 14-1 (10-13) Led, ridden and headed narrowly between last 2, rallied to lead again approaching last, edged left and headed flat, kept on, lost 2nd near finish, 3rd of 16, 1 1/2l behind Lush Life (11-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Dec.
Junior 12-1 (10-11) Led until after 4th, always prominent, chased winner from 12th, ridden before 3 out, no impression from 2 out, weakened to 3rd flat, 3rd of 17, 9l behind Midnight Chase (11-9) at Cheltenham 3m 3f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Nov.
Racing Demon (IRE) 8-1 (11-5) Jumped right and big at some flights, led until narrowly headed 7th, stayed pressing winner until after 3 out, weakened between last 2, 5th of 12, 19l behind Barafundle (11-2) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gs in Nov.
Kilcrea Kim (IRE) Evensfav (11-12) Tracked leader, hit 1st, led soon after 8th, ridden when pressed from 2 out, driven and all out, won at Ffos Las 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Nov beating Vivarini (10-4) by nk, 8 ran.
Chartreux (FR) 28-1 (11-7) Chased leaders, lost place after 6th, ridden in rear next, tailed off, 9th of 19, well behind Berties Dream (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
King's Legacy (IRE) 18-1 (11-4) Wide in mid-division, headway before 3 out, went 3rd soon after 2 out, no chance with leading duo, hit last, 3rd of 17, 17l behind Grands Crus (10-13) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gs in Nov.
According To Pete 12-1 (10-10) In touch, ridden and outpaced after 4 out, weakened from next, 11th of 18, 49l behind Grands Crus (10-10) at Haydock 3m Listed hcp hdl (1) gs in Nov.
Sarando 16-1 (10-13) Held up in touch, lost place 5th, soon in rear, never dangerous, 6th of 7, 50l behind Medermit (11-5) at Plumpton 2m 1f nov chs (3) gs in Dec.
Den of Iniquity 5-1 (11-0) Close up on outer, led over 5f out, ridden and edged left over 1f out, driven out, won at Southwell 2m Nat Hunt Flat (5yo+) (AWT) (4) std in Dec beating My Arch (11-0) by 3/4l, 10 ran.