A typically competitive renewal of this Listed stayers' handicap and past results have shown us that it's folly to discard anything out of hand as the last nine winners have all started at double-digit odds. The Pipes have a decent record in the contest and Close House is lightly-raced and arrives off the back of a win in one of the qualifiers at Wincanton, where American Trilogy was back in fourth. The progressive Shutthefrontdoor beat Ardkilly Witness in another qualifier at Carlisle last month while Sam Winner has come in for significant support after beating Peddlers Cross in a jumpers' bumpers. He has won a Grade 2 over hurdles and was fourth in the 2011 Triumph Hurdle but is very short in the betting considering he's never even raced over this trip before. Top Of The Range is another tackling 3m for the first time after earning his place with a victory over 2m6f at Sandown on Friday but he may still be well handicapped and the luckless Holywell should be thereabouts again in first-time blinkers. He's slightly better off with Ely Brown than when beaten a length-and-a-half in yet another qualifier at Warwick in January. Stonemaster may come out best of the Irish contingent having finished ahead of Jetson at Leopardstown in December but this is normally a race the home team dominate and we're going to take a chance on CAPTAIN SUNSHINE. There is no doubting the seven-year-old's ability but he can cause problems at the start and needs holding up. However, he's certain to get a strong pace in this and we can see him picking off rivals one-by-one from the final turn if he gets the breaks.
Fair Along (GER) 33-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, not fluent 9th, headway approaching 3 out, led 2 out, clear flat, stayed on gamely, won at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) sft in Nov beating Ballybough Pat (11-4) by 2 3/4l, 17 ran.
Junior 20-1 (11-6) In touch, driven and struggling in modest 5th 12th, stayed on run in to modest 4th close home, 4th of 8, 25l behind Silviniaco Conti (11-10) at Newbury 3m chs Grd 2 (1) sft in Feb.
Catch Me (GER) 25-1 (11-10) Mid-division, ridden in 9th and no impression 2 out, 8th entering straight, kept on one pace, 11th of 22, 32l behind Colbert Station (10-5) at Punchestown 3m hcp hdl hvy in Feb.
Shutthefrontdoor (IRE) 9-2 (11-0) Held up in rear, headway before 2 out, went 4th before and not fluent last, soon ridden, kept on to lead towards finish, won at Carlisle 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) sft in Feb beating Ardkilly Witness (9-10) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
First Fandango 4-6fav (11-4) Chased leading pair throughout, went left and niggled along 10th, pushed along when not fluent 13th, soon lost touch with leading duo, 3rd of 5, 36l behind Camden (11-7) at Lingfield 3m nov chs (4) hvy in Jan.
Close House 11-4fav (11-5) Tracked leaders, led approaching 3 out, hard pressed from next, all out, won at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec beating Rangitoto (10-8) by 2l, 9 ran.
Bouggler 25-1 (11-5) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, went 3rd from last, kept on, 3rd of 9, 6l behind Seymour Eric (9-11) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
According To Trev (IRE) 5-1 (11-8) Tracked leaders on outside, ridden approaching 3 out, outpaced and no impression from next, not fluent last, 4th of 6, 10l behind Superior Quality (11-4) at Musselburgh 3m nov hdl (3) gs in Feb.
Sam Winner (FR) 7-1 (11-0) With leader, led over 1f out, edged left inside final furlong, kept on well, won at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan beating Peddlers Cross (11-0) by 2l, 10 ran.
Holywell (IRE) 11-2 (11-0) Mid-division, ridden and headway 8th, mistake and went 2nd 2 out, stayed on, 2nd of 18, 1 1/4l behind Ely Brown (11-0) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) sft in Jan.
Action Master 25-1 (10-6) Rear of mid-division for most, never a factor, 16th of 28, 42l behind Colbert Station (10-11) at Leopardstown 3m hcp chs 0-145 sft in Dec.
Bakbenscher 11-2 (11-12) Held up towards rear, headway on inside after 5th, went 2nd 2 out, carried right and mistake last, soon switched left, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 10, 2 1/4l behind Art Professor (11-0) at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) gs in Feb.
Pateese (FR) 9-1 (11-9) Towards rear when unseated rider 7th, in a race won by Rouge Et Blanc (10-0) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Feb, 11 ran.
American Spin 25-1 (11-4) Pressed leader and pushed along most of way, led briefly after 2nd, already lost 2nd when mistake 3 out, ridden and weakened before next, 9th of 18, 37l behind Master Of The Sea (10-11) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) sft in Feb.
Berties Dream (IRE) 20-1 (11-10) Soon well off the pace in mid-division, towards rear from before 5 out, soon no danger, 10th of 11, 46l behind Away We Go (10-2) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-140 sft in Feb.
Stonemaster (IRE) 25-1 (10-13) Chased leader in 2nd, 3rd before 5 out, ridden in 4th before 2 out, 3rd and no impression leaders last, kept on same pace, 3rd of 30, 2 1/2l behind Prince Rudi (10-6) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl sft in Dec.
Jetson (IRE) 11-1 (11-6) Mid-division, 10th halfway, ridden and no impression 2 out, 7th last, kept on one pace, 6th of 30, 10l behind Prince Rudi (10-6) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl sft in Dec.
Ballybough Pat (IRE) 5-1 (11-7) Led at steady pace, gradually wound up tempo from 4th, ridden and headed before 2 out, soon dropped to 3rd and mistake 2 out, soon no chance with leading duo, mistake last, 3rd of 6, 13l behind Taquin Du Seuil (11-7) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Dec.
Ely Brown (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, challenged when bumped 6th, led next, headed 3 out, led again before next, edged right flat, driven out, won at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) sft in Jan beating Holywell (11-0) by 1 1/4l, 18 ran.
Captain Sunshine 8-1 (11-3) Led in start, held up well in rear, still plenty to do 2 out, headway and stayed on before last, finished strongly run-in, went 2nd towards finish, no chance of reaching winner, 2nd of 18, 4l behind Master Of The Sea (10-11) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) sft in Feb.
American Trilogy (IRE) 8-1 (11-3) Chased leaders, pushed along and lost place 3 out, soon beaten, 4th of 9, 17l behind Close House (11-5) at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec.
Top Of The Range (IRE) 11-4 (11-10) Chased leading pair, wenmt 2nd 7th, led before 2 out, came readily clear from last, stayed on strongly flat, driven out, won at Sandown 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft beating Araldur (11-11) by 4l, 8 ran.
Ardkilly Witness (IRE) 5-1 (11-8) Tracked leaders in 3rd, led 8th, ridden and headed before last, one pace, 2nd of 5, 5l behind Two Rockers (11-8) at Haydock 3m nov hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Hada Men (USA) 9-1 (11-4) In touch in 4th, lost place from 5th, pushed along 8th, soon weakened, 6th of 7, 25l behind Across The Bay (11-4) at Haydock 3m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb.