The Pipe stable has enjoyed plenty of success in this race in the past and Cheltenham hero Buena Vista and Raslan, potentially well-treated on his form in the autumn, carry their hopes this year. Al Co was a leading fancy 12 months ago but could only finish fourth and has 6lb more to carry this time around, though it does look as though his campaign has been tailored around the race a second time. Arctic Court made all to land a novice handicap at Ayr last month but will find it tougher to dominate these off an 11lb higher mark and Thelobstercatcher was put up 8lb after beating Five Star Wilsham at Chepstow, though would have won more easily that day had he not made a mess of the last. Aintree fourth Micheal Flips has a touch of class and Irish raider Green Mile will like the ground but Philip Hobbs saddles a couple of interesting contenders in Doctor Foxtrot and LIBERATE. The former may still be improving but the latter, winner of this in 2008 off an 8lb higher mark, will have come on a bundle for his run behind Cloudy Spirit at Bangor and can prove he is no back number with victory here.
Buena Vista (IRE) 12-1 (11-6) Led, clear from 2nd until blundered 4th, ridden before 2 out, headed after last, weakened flat, 6th of 20, 19l behind Battle Group (11-1) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Apr.
Son of Flicka 16-1 (11-5) Mid-division, fell 1st, in a race won by Battle Group (11-1) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Apr, 20 ran.
Micheal Flips (IRE) 20-1 (11-4) Mid-division on inner, not much room after 4 out, headway before next, kept on from last, 4th of 22, 4 1/2l behind Russian War (10-1) at Aintree 2m 4f Listed hcp hdl (1) gs in Apr.
Possol (FR) 80-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders in 3rd, hit 9th, ridden and weakened before 3 out, 7th of 11, well behind Big Buck's (11-7) at Aintree 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in Apr.
Raslan 40-1 (11-7) Prominent in chasing group, pushed along and lost place before 4th, soon behind, tailed off 3 out, 9th of 13, 25l behind Sunley Peace (10-3) at Sandown 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd in Apr.
Al Co (FR) 20-1 (11-3) Always towards rear, 13th of 20, well behind Battle Group (11-1) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Apr.
Pause And Clause (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Held up in rear, in touch at back of field 8th, soon weakened, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Thelobstercatcher (10-11) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Apr.
Thelobstercatcher 9-1 (10-11) Made virtually all, ridden clear and hung left when stumbled last, always going to hold on after, won at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Apr beating Five Star Wilsham (10-11) by 4l, 9 ran.
Cloudy Spirit 17-2 (10-10) In rear, hampered 1st, not fluent 4th, headway before 2 out on inner, kept on same pace, 4th of 20, 13l behind Battle Group (11-1) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Apr.
Liberate 16-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, pushed along and weakened from 8th, 6th of 14, 19l behind Cloudy Spirit (11-4) at Bangor 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gd in Mar.
Superior Wisdom (IRE) 33-1 (10-10) Held up mid-division, headway before 6th to chase leaders, weakened 2 out, 14th of 20, well behind Battle Group (11-1) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Apr.
Green Mile 20-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, never a factor, pushed along and lost touch approaching 3 out, 15th of 16, well behind Marlay Park (10-11) at Fairyhouse 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-140 gd in Apr.
E Major 14-1 (11-4) Took keen hold, led until 7th, still every chance approaching 2 out, weakened before last, last of 5, 25l behind Bold Addition (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nh nov hdl (2) gd in Apr.
Extreme Impact 16-1 (11-12) In touch, went 2nd approaching 4 out, led after next, in command last, stayed on well, won at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Mar beating Connectivity (11-12) by 4l, 13 ran.
Five Star Wilsham (IRE) 11-8fav (10-11) Chased leaders, went 3rd after 5th, chased winner approaching 3 out, no impression last, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 9, 4l behind Thelobstercatcher (10-11) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Apr.
Arctic Court (IRE) 11-2 (10-10) With leader, led approaching 2nd, blundered 3rd, not fluent 6th, clear from 3 out, readily, won at Ayr 3m nov hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Apr beating Lively Baron (11-4) by 10l, 10 ran.
Benbane Head (USA) 11-2 (10-9) Took keen hold in mid-division, headway 7th, chased leaders next, led briefly on long run to last, outpaced by leading duo before last, 3rd of 11, 17l behind Sir Kezbaah (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gd in Apr.
Doctor Foxtrot (IRE) 12-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders and keen, ridden before 3 out, chased winner before last, kept on, 2nd of 12, 2 1/4l behind Five Star Wilsham (10-13) at Doncaster 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gd in Mar.