Old Victory Gunner has his ground and would be a popular winner but he was tailed off on his belated reappearance at Ludlow. Shaking Hands appears to be suffering from a lack of confidence but is dropped in class for this, as is Ringa Bay. Nodebateaboutit and Tuskar Rock are capable of going well from near the foot of the weights and Royal Chatelier would't need to improve much on his Taunton success to play a part but Supreme Bob was well beaten on his only previous start over the larger obstacles and Thomas Wild is returning from a break. BILLY DUTTON won off today's mark over hurdles last year and still has a bit of scope. He could be the value bet in an open-looking finale.
Ringa Bay 16-1 (9-10) Held up mid-division, behind from 6th, taile doff before 9th, pulled after 10th, in a race won by Emperor's Choice (10-5) at Ffos Las 3m 4f hcp chs (2) hvy, 12 ran.
Shaking Hands (IRE) 16-1 (10-2) Led, headed 11th, pushed along 5 out, soon weakened and pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Pineau De Re (10-11) at Exeter 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) sft in Jan, 8 ran.
Royal Chatelier (FR) 8-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 4 out, mistake 2 out, stayed on flat, led towards finish, won at Taunton 2m 7f hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Jan beating Milosam (10-0) by nk, 6 ran.
Billy Dutton 9-2 (11-0) Held up in touch, ridden after 5 out, well held 3rd from 3 out, 3rd of 6, 28l behind Hansupfordetroit (11-0) at Chepstow 3m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Dec.
Thomas Wild 7-2fav (11-2) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 15th until 5 out, 3rd and beaten 2 out, edged right and stayed on flat, 3rd of 7, 3 1/2l behind Financial Climate (10-12) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gf in May.
Victory Gunner (IRE) 25-1 (10-13) Always towards rear, tailed off, 10th of 13, well behind Rhum (11-0) at Ludlow 3m Am hcp ch 0-125 (3) hvy in Jan.
Webberys Dream 20-1 (10-1) Chased leaders, weakened 11th, no chance when hampered 13th, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Bennys Mist (11-5) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Jan.
Supreme Bob (IRE) 9-1 (11-6) Held up in touch in rear, ridden and effort after 5th, one pace before 2 out, went 4th flat, no impression, 4th of 8, 11l behind The Happy Warrior (10-0) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) hvy.
Nodebateaboutit 9-2 (10-8) In rear, struggling from 8th, jumped slow next, never a factor, 4th of 9, 39l behind Flying Award (10-13) at Wincanton 3m 3f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Tuskar Rock (FR) 11-1 (11-7) Close up, led before 4th, headed before 4 out, ridden before next, one pace and no chance with winner, 2nd of 10, 32l behind Barton Gift (9-12) at Exeter 3m hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft in Jan.