Back In Focus must go on the short-list for the longest race at The Festival as he won a Grade 1 over 3m at Leopardstown in December when Tofino Bay was a well-beaten fourth. Buddy Bolero has done nothing wrong so far but, like the in-form Emperors Choice, has more on his plate than when winning a handicap last time. Paul Nicholls' runners don't have a great record in this but Hawkes Point has some decent form to his name while stamina won't be an issue for Godsmejudge. Alan King's gelding was only caught close home by Rigadin De Beauchene in the Betfair Classic over 3m5f at Warwick in January and then outstayed Keppols Hill over 3m2f at that track last month. He may be the danger to RIVAL D'ESTRUVAL. The pedigree of the French-bred suggests he'll relish a thorough test of stamina and his jumping has improved with experience. Pauline Robson has booked leading Irish amateur Derek O'Connor, who rode Chicago Grey to victory in the race two years ago, for the ride and that is hugely significant. Highland Lodge looks best of the rest but his stable has been out of form for a while.
Back In Focus (IRE) 6-4fav (11-10) Tracked leaders, 5th halfway, 4th 3 out and headway to dispute entering straight, ridden and headed approaching last, rallied well under pressure run-in to lead close home, won at Leopardstown 3m nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec beating Aupcharlie (11-10) by hd, 12 ran.
Buddy Bolero (IRE) 10-11fav (11-3) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 10th, led before 3 out, in command when jinked right just before last, soon well clear, easily, won at Leicester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-140 (3) hvy in Jan beating See U Bob (10-6) by 12l, 7 ran.
Drawn N Drank (IRE) 5-1 (11-2) Always prominent, 3rd halfway, disputed approaching 3 out and led briefly entering straight, ridden and headed after 2 out, no impression on winner and kept on same pace, 2nd of 16, 4l behind Sherika (9-5) at Thurles 2m 6f hcp hdl 8Evens23 hvy in Jan.
Emperor's Choice (IRE) 9-4fav (11-10) Held up in mid-division, headway to chase leaders 6th, challenged 4 out, led soon after, hit 2 out, went left last, driven and stayed on strongly flat, won at Lingfield 3m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Feb beating Big Occasion (11-4) by 1l, 9 ran.
Godsmejudge (IRE) Evensfav (11-7) Made all, clear from 2 out, driven out, won at Warwick 3m 2f nov chs (3) hvy in Feb beating Keppols Hill (11-7) by 2 3/4l, 4 ran.
Hawkes Point 4-1 (11-4) Chased leader until not fluent 5th, close 3rd, disputing 2nd after 14th, ridden to lead 4 out, headed 2 out, readily held before last, 2nd of 5, 12l behind Harry Topper (11-7) at Exeter 3m grd chs (5yo+) (2) hvy in Feb.
Heathyards Flyer 100-1 (11-7) In rear, not fluent 3rd, hit 23rd, modest 8th 3 out, ran on strongly flat, went 3rd close home, nearest finish, 3rd of 15, 3/4l behind Special Portrait (12-1) at Cheltenham 4m 1f hts chs (4) sft in May.
Highland Lodge (IRE) 9-4 (11-7) Led, ridden and headed 4 out, weakened and blundered 3 out, hung badly left and not keen soon after, tailed off, last of 5, well behind Harry Topper (11-7) at Exeter 3m grd chs (5yo+) (2) hvy in Feb.
Our Island (IRE) 16-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, not fluent 2nd, outpaced 5 out, never able to get back on terms, 5th of 17, 18l behind Monbeg Dude (10-1) at Chepstow 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Jan.
Present To You (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Close up, led 3rd, headed 10th, led again 4 out, pressed before 2 out, headed 2 out, weakened run-in, 3rd of 7, 10l behind Rebeccas Choice (11-0) at Warwick 3m 5f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Feb.
Rival D'estruval (FR) 8-11fav (11-6) Mostly jumped well, made all, clear after 2nd, brushed 13th, stayed on strongly, unchallenged, won at Kelso 2m 7f nov chs (2) sft in Dec beating Papamoa (11-6) by 23l, 5 ran.
Rose Of The Moon (IRE) 11-8 (11-7) Chased leader until 5th, chased leading pair, reminder after 13th, lost 3rd at 14th, ridden and beaten before next, tailed off, 4th of 5, well behind Restless Harry (11-0) at Newbury 3m grad ch (2) sft in Dec.
Sacred Mountain 10-11fav (11-9) Held up in touch, went 3rd 2 out, chased leader before last, led narrowly last 100 yards, just held on, won at Kelso 2m 7f hts chs (6) hvy in Feb beating Tartan Snow (11-13) by nk, 5 ran.
Scampi Boy (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Held up in 4th, not fluent 1st, headway to join leaders 8th, led next, not fluent 10th, mistake and headed 11th, lost 2nd approaching and mistake 3 out, weakened before next, tailed off, 4th of 5, well behind Shoegazer (11-6) at Fontwell 2m 6f nov chs (2) sft in Feb.
Tofino Bay (IRE) 4-6fav (11-8) Led and disputed, in front 3 out, joined from before next, headed before last, not match winner and kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 4, 6l behind Terminal (11-3) at Navan 3m nov chs G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Top Smart 15-2 (11-7) Held up, mistake 2nd, not fluent 6th, headway approaching 10th, outpaced after 14th, closed from 4 out, went 2nd before 2 out, mistake last, demoted to 3rd flat, stayed on, 3rd of 7, 2 1/2l behind Howard's Legacy (11-7) at Leicester 2m 7f nov chs (3) gs in Feb.