This was another race won by the Ellison team 12 months ago and this year they rely on Andreo Bambaleo and Simonside. The latter looks the better handicapped but both have their work cut out if they are to take the spoils. Venetia Williams is another trainer doubly represented but Rydalis fell last time and Reginaldinho may have too much weight now. Charlie Longsdon has No No Bingo and Market Rasen scorer Little Chip while Frontier Spirit, Rouge Et Blanc, Balinroab and NOBLE LEGEND also arrive on the back of recent victories. We'll take a chance that the latter can follow up his recent success at Southwell as he might just be suited by this better ground more than the majority of his rivals, though Patsy Finnegan has been knocking on the door lately and Sandown second Christopher Wren has won over a longer trip over hurdles. King's Grace ran a little better in blinkers at Towcester last time and the headgear is left on here.
Frontier Spirit (IRE) 4-1 (11-12) Made all, not fluent 11th or 2 out, stayed on well, won at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy beating Double Dash (10-7) by 2l, 5 ran.
Rouge Et Blanc (FR) 11-4fav (10-0) Held up towards rear, steady headway 8th, went 2nd at 10th, led going well 3 out, in command next, came well clear and heavily eased towards finish, won at Exeter 2m 3f hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Feb beating Simply Wings (11-4) by 3 1/2l, 11 ran.
Noble Legend 13-8fav (11-3) Tracked leader, challenged 3 out, led before last, kept on well, won at Southwell 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd beating Gentleman Anshan (11-0) by 3/4l, 8 ran.
Sir Frank (IRE) 3-1fav (10-9) Always towards rear, slow jump and ridden 10th, no chance when blundered 13th, 9th of 14, 38l behind Twirling Magnet (11-3) at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs.
Balinroab (IRE) 9-2fav (11-12) Led until 1st, prominent, led again 3 out, not fluent 2 out, clear flat, stayed on well, won at Leicester 2m 7f hcp ch 0-110 (4) sft beating Bellflower Boy (11-3) by 8l, 10 ran.
Andreo Bambaleo 22-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, not fluent 4th, headway after 7th, soon ridden and no impression, 8th of 16, 23l behind Lord Grantham (11-2) at Huntingdon 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd.
Rydalis (FR) 13-2 (11-12) In rear, headway 6 out, went 4th before 5 out, soon weakened, in 3rd and beaten when fell last, in a race won by Victory Gunner (10-13) at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy, 6 ran.
Reginaldinho (UAE) 7-1 (11-12) Held up in touch, headway to chase leaders 8th, ridden in 3rd before 3 out, stayed on same pace from next, 3rd of 7, 7l behind Shuil Royale (11-12) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy.
Simonside 20-1 (11-7) Led, headed 8th, tracked leaders, ridden next, weakened 2 out, last of 9, well behind Sixty Something (11-12) at Market Rasen 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft.
Christopher Wren (USA) 6-1 (10-13) Chased leader, led 2nd, not fluent 6th, hit 9th and joined, narrowly headed next, chased leader, led again 3 out, headed and dropped to 3rd 2 out, every chance when hit last, rallied to 2nd again final 75 yards, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Greywell Boy (11-5) at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft.
Patsy Finnegan 12-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, went 2nd 4 out, chased leader and every chance when stumbled 2 out, 3rd and one pace before last, 3rd of 14, 9l behind Twirling Magnet (11-3) at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs.
No No Bingo (IRE) 13-2 (11-12) Held up in touch, ridden in 6th before 10th, slow jump and weakened 4 out, 5th of 8, 15l behind Time To Think (11-1) at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Feb.
Frontier Dancer (IRE) 2-1fav (11-7) Tracked leading trio, went 3rd 9th, struggling and no chance with leading duo from 17th, tailed off, 3rd of 5, well behind Goring One (10-8) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Little Chip (IRE) 6-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders, jumped slow and dropped to rear 9th, headway to lead approaching 3 out, ridden out, won at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp ch 0-110 (4) sft beating Ice 'n' Easy (11-12) by 3 1/2l, 6 ran.
King's Grace 7-2 (10-12) Tracked leaders, led approaching when mistake 7th, headed before 2 out, weakened flat, 2nd of 8, 7l behind Opera Og (10-12) at Towcester 2m 3f nov chs 0-110 (4) gs.
The Big Freeze (IRE) 5-2 (11-9) Close up, joined leaders 6th, led 8th, ridden and headed approaching 3 out, chased winner until approaching last, plugged on one pace, 3rd of 6, 12l behind Little Chip (11-9) at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp ch 0-110 (4) sft.