Philip Hobbs won this last year with Copper Bleu and saddles Rougham this time around. The front-runner may struggle to confirm Ascot running in January with Osric, however, and also has something to find to overturn earlier Ludlow form with the mare Sway. Quantitativeeasing has won at Fontwell and Market Rasen since the turn of the year and may prove the pick of Nicky Henderson's four representatives. But just as interesting is Tullamore Dew, who hasn't finished out of the first two over fences so far. Tharawaat is gradually getting his act together and looks the pick of the Irish raiders but this is a step up in class for the hat-trick seeking Premier Sagas and Definity could find a couple of these more progressive. One such is possibly DIVERS, who appeared to have a little in hand when beating the well-regarded Nafaath at Musselburgh last month. Ferdy Murphy's seven-year-old jumps well and, if enjoying more luck than when hampered and eased over this C&D in November, looks to have a cracking chance in this off bottom weight.
Songe (FR) 12-1 (10-12) Behind, headway into mid-division 3 out, 9th and no impression when fell next, in a race won by James De Vassy (11-2) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan, 19 ran.
Quantitativeeasing (IRE) 2-11fav (11-4) Tendency to jump left, made most, went left 3 out, narrowly headed and hit 2 out, stayed challenging, led again soon after last and kept on flat, readily, won at Market Rasen 2m 6f nov chs (3) gd in Feb beating Fin Vin De Leu (10-5) by 1 1/4l, 3 ran.
Premier Sagas (FR) 9-4 (11-5) With leader, led 5th, hit 2 out, soon clear, kept on strongly, eased towards finish, won at Kelso 2m 1f nov chs (2) sft in Feb beating Alfie Flits (11-5) by 22l, 5 ran.
Tullamore Dew (IRE) 4-5fav (11-8) Led, driven after 3 out, soon strongly challenged, headed approaching when not fluent last, kept on towards finish, 2nd of 3, 3/4l behind Mamlook (10-12) at Fakenham 2m 5f nov chs (3) hvy in Jan.
Nadiya De La Vega (FR) 5-1 (10-8) Mid-division on outside, headway 6th, ridden and outpaced from 7th, lost place next, well held after, 6th of 9, 38l behind Medermit (11-4) at Sandown 2m 4f nov chs G1 (1) gd in Feb.
Swincombe Rock 10-1 (11-9) In rear, struggling 7th, soon lost touch, tailed off when left 4th 5 out, 4th of 5, well behind Aiteen Thirtythree (11-2) at Newbury 3m nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov.
Tharawaat (IRE) 9-10fav (11-10) Made virtually all, joined briefly 6 out, 2 lengths advantage when left clear after 3 out, greatly eased run-in, won at Navan 3m nov chs hvy in Feb beating Flying Windsor (10-13) by dis, 3 ran.
Quo Video (FR) 7-2 (11-4) Led, jumped left 2nd, not fluent and headed 7th, soon led again, headed 9th, no impression on winner from 4 out, blundered badly 2 out, mistake last, lost 2nd flat, 3rd of 4, 16l behind Kerada (11-1) at Ffos Las 2m 5f nov chs (3) sft in Feb.
Swing Bill (FR) 7-1fav (10-13) Chased leader until 4 out, outpaced before 2 out, only 6th jumping last, stayed on well flat, went 3rd last stride and going on close home, 3rd of 15, 2 1/4l behind Fine Parchment (10-4) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) gs.
On Borrowed Wings (IRE) 11-1 (10-8) Held up in touch in 6th, hampered 6th, headway before 2 out, stayed on before last, chased leaders last, went 3rd soon after, strong run to 2nd final 100 yards, closed on winner close home, not quite got up, 2nd of 11, hd behind Act Of Kalanisi (10-0) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) sft in Feb.
Definity (IRE) 11-8fav (11-0) Led 2nd, strongly challenged from 4 out, headed 2 out, soon no extra, 2nd of 6, 4l behind Bakbenscher (11-7) at Exeter 3m grd chs (5yo+) (2) sft in Feb.
Glenstal Abbey (IRE) 20-1 (11-2) Towards rear, kept on same pace from before 2 out, 10th of 19, 23l behind Peak Raider (9-3) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-140 hvy in Feb.
Rougham 9-2 (11-2) Made all, hard driven approaching 2 out, strongly challenged from last, soon edged left under pressure, held on gamely close home, won at Ascot 2m 3f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Jan beating Osric (11-5) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
American Trilogy (IRE) 9-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders, jumped left throughout, weakened before 3 out, last of 3, well behind Captain Chris (11-0) at Kempton 2m 4f nov chs G2 (1) gs in Feb.
Shakalakaboomboom (IRE) 5-2fav (11-6) Not fluent and never travelled in rear, not fluent 6th, headway to chase leaders 10th, weakened 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 8, 44l behind The Giant Bolster (11-12) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov chs (2) gs in Jan.
Vino Griego (FR) 2-5fav (11-0) Blundered badly and almost unseated rider 2nd, held up, headway to 3rd before 5th, hit next, driven after 4 out, no chance with leading duo from 3 out, hit last, 3rd of 7, 14l behind General Kutuzov (11-0) at Lingfield 2m 4f beg chase (5) sft in Feb.
Lastoftheleaders (IRE) 9-2 (11-4) Held up behind leaders, mainly 5th, ridden in last before 3 out, soon no extra, 5th of 6, 22l behind Saludos (11-4) at Navan 2m nov chs G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Osric (IRE) 8-11fav (11-12) Tendency to jump left, raced keenly, led at good pace, slow and not fluent 5th (water), ridden and headed approaching 3 out, driven and lost 2nd soon after next, 3rd and well beaten when blundered and fell last, in a race won by Mister Stickler (11-3) at Wincanton 2m nov chs (2) gs in Feb, 4 ran.
Divers (FR) 5-2 (11-4) Tracked leaders in rear, hit 6 out, took closer order on inner approaching 4 out, led after 2 out, kept on, driven out, won at Musselburgh 2m 4f nov chs (3) gs in Feb beating Nafaath (10-9) by 3/4l, 3 ran.
Sway (FR) Evensfav (11-6) Led, went left 2nd, headed 3rd, chased winner, jumped slowly 7th, slight lead after 11th, headed and ridden 4 out, weakened to 3rd before 2 out, soon beaten, tailed off, 3rd of 4, 26l behind Kerada (10-12) at Newbury 2m 4f mrs nov chs (5yo+) (4) sft in Jan.