STAGECOACH PEARL made a winning reappearance in this race last year. He already has a run under his belt this time around and, as this year's renewal is much less competitive than the 2011 version, Sue Smith's chaser is taken to come out best again. Tito Bustillo has made a promising start to his chasing career winning for the first time over fences at Carlisle last month and he makes more appeal than the returning De Boitron and the frustrating Kings Grey. Idarah has yet to win off a mark as high as this while Ultimate won't get his own way out in front here and also looks high enough in the weights.
Stagecoach Pearl 16-1 (10-10) Led to 2nd, tracked leader and clear of rest until approaching 9th, led again before next, headed after 3 out, soon no chance with easy winner, lost 2nd between last 2, 3rd of 11, 32l behind For Non Stop (10-11) at Aintree 2m 4f ltd hcp chs Grd 2 (1) gd in Oct.
De Boitron (FR) 12-1 (11-2) Held up towards rear, headway 12th, went 2nd 3 out, ridden and every chance before last, not fluent, kept on and well held final 100 yards, 2nd of 10, 1 1/2l behind The Knoxs (11-7) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp chs (2) gd in Apr.
Ultimate 16-1 (10-13) Tracked leaders, ridden after 4 out, no impression before next, weakened 2 out, 10th of 14, 43l behind Cape Express (10-12) at Aintree 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Oct.
Idarah (USA) 28-1 (11-3) Towards rear, often jumped slowly, behind 11th, tailed off, 13th of 20, well behind Nadiya De La Vega (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hcp chs 0-150 (2) gs in Oct.
Tito Bustillo (FR) 15-2 (11-12) Held up in mid-division, smooth headway 7th, chased leaders 5 out, led last, ridden out, won at Carlisle 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Oct beating Prosecco (10-10) by 4l, 7 ran.
Kings Grey (IRE) 13-2 (10-11) Held up behind in touch, headway when blundered 4 out, soon outpaced, rallied to chase winner last, ridden flat, no impression when lost 2nd post, 3rd of 9, 6l behind Doeslessthanme (11-11) at Ayr 2m hcp chs (2) gd in Apr.