Saddling seven of the 20 entries, Brian Ellison seems determined to carry off this decent prize. The ground may be too quick for Dontpaytheferryman and John Forbes, while Hada Men looks a shade high in the weights though did have Nowurhurlin and stablemate Simonside well behind at Carlisle last time. Union Island won nicely at Market Rasen last month, with the well-backed Presenting Ace behind, and has a 5lb claimer on board but just as interesting is Tony Star, not beaten far at Newbury last time and entitled to reverse December running at Wincanton with Dineur. TOP SMART has been lightly raced this season and may still be improving. He ran well over C&D a year ago and had plenty in hand when scoring at Sandown in February. A 6lb higher mark may not be enough to prevent a follow-up. Sainglend, Cloudy Bob and Monarch's Way are others to consider but Tenor Nivernais is conceding plenty of weight to his rivals.
Tenor Nivernais (FR) 25-1 (10-6) In touch, lost place 4 out, soon behind, 12th of 28, 24l behind Son Of Flicka (10-6) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Mar.
Dontpaytheferryman (USA) 4-1 (11-5) Jumped slickly, made all, clear after 3rd until 5th, pushed clear again before 3 out, driven and strongly pressed flat, held on gamely close home, won at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Feb beating Beidh Tine Anseo (10-12) by nk, 6 ran.
Tony Star (FR) 4-1 (10-7) Held up in last pair, headway 4th, led approaching 3 out, headed before next, stayed on flat, 4th of 7, 3l behind Dream Esteem (11-2) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gs in Mar.
Hada Men (USA) 7-2fav (11-0) Held up in touch, smooth headway before 3 out on inner, led 3 out, clear from 2 out, eased last 150 yards, very easily, won at Carlisle 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Mar beating Mitchell's Way (10-10) by 13l, 13 ran.
Sainglend 12-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders on outside, challenged 3 out, led before next, headed last, ridden and no extra flat, 3rd of 16, 5l behind Off The Ground (11-10) at Sandown 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Feb.
Presenting Ace (IRE) 2-1fav (11-12) Held up in touch, chased winner from 3 out, ridden before next, lost 2nd place after last, kept on towards finish, 3rd of 5, 1 3/4l behind Union Island (11-1) at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Mar.
Dineur (FR) 9-1 (10-12) Led 1st to before 6th, tracked leader, lost place after 3 out, weakened next, 12th of 14, 48l behind Hildisvini (11-3) at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs in Jan.
Cloudy Bob (IRE) 6-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, outpaced after 7th, rallied 2 out, every chance approaching last, stayed on, 2nd of 13, 3/4l behind Josh's Dreamway (10-12) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Mar.
Top Smart 12-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, blundered 3rd, headway approaching 2 out, led last, driven clear, won at Sandown 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Feb beating Numide (11-11) by 4l, 15 ran.
Hawaii Klass 7-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, challenged 7th, ridden to lead narrowly before 3 out, ridden and edged right after next, headed last, rallied to regain lead flat, held on, won at Ayr 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Mar beating Radmores Revenge (11-1) by nk, 11 ran.
Union Island (IRE) 6-1 (11-1) Made all, ridden before last, driven out, won at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Mar beating Royal Entourage (11-0) by 1 1/2l, 5 ran.
Nowurhurlin (IRE) 5-1 (11-10) Held up mid-division on inner, headway after 4 out, chased winner before 2 out, weakened flat, 4th of 13, 18l behind Hada Men (11-0) at Carlisle 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Mar.
Monarch's Way 3-1fav (11-3) Held up in touch in 5th, went handy 3rd travelling well 3 out, ridden and outpaced before 2 out, stayed on to 2nd before last, no chance with unchallenged winner, 2nd of 8, 6l behind Rajamand (11-2) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Mar.
Prince Of Denial (IRE) 33-1 (10-13) In touch in mid-division, ridden and weakened after 7th, tailed off, 7th of 10, well behind Bellflower Boy (10-13) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Jan.
Simonside 14-1 (11-6) Led, ridden and headed 3 out, soon weakened, 5th of 13, 27l behind Hada Men (11-0) at Carlisle 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Mar.
All The Winds (GER) 25-1 (10-0) Hampered 1st, behind, outpaced on outside 2 out, soon ridden, weakened before last, last of 14, 24l behind Module (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan.
Dusky Bob (IRE) 11-4fav (11-4) Chasing leaders 4th, went 2nd briefly carried left and hit 9th, ridden after 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 8th of 9, 49l behind Vintage Star (11-0) at Market Rasen 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Mar.
Wise Move (IRE) 6-4fav (11-5) Took keen hold, held up tracking leaders, driven before 3 out, weakened before next, moderate 5th when blundered last, 5th of 9, 15l behind Balerina (11-1) at Huntingdon 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Jan.
Andreo Bambaleo 15-2 (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway befor 3 out, chased winner after last, kept on, 2nd of 17, 2l behind Monkey Milan (11-9) at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Mar.
John Forbes 50-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders in 3rd, pushed along before 3 out, in 3rd when mistake and unseated rider 2 out, in a race won by Red Merlin (11-12) at Newcastle 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Mar, 9 ran.