THE ROMFORD PELE would have probably had a good chance in one of the novice races at Cheltenham so it's significant that he's been held back for this. He may not have got home over 3m at Ludlow last time but was only beaten half-a-length and an earlier four-length third to Taquin De Seuil at Cheltenham is excellent form. Al Alfa has been running well for most of the season and won't be inconvenienced by a return to a longer trip after his latest third at Chepstow. Nearest The Pin had a run on the all-weather in January but might still need this and looks harshly treated. Bar De Ligne is also climbing the weights while Top Of The Range hasn't progressed as expected and Royal Guardsman has disappointed. Cloudy Bob will also struggle to score again off his current mark.
Nearest The Pin (IRE) 5-4fav (11-12) Tracked leaders and 5th halfway, went 3rd after 3 out, ridden and no impression on winner when left in lead after last, driven out and kept on well run-in, won at Ballinrobe 2m 1f beg chs gd in Sep beating Usa (11-12) by 6l, 12 ran.
Bar De Ligne (FR) 7-2 (11-6) Tracked leader, not fluent 2nd, lost 2nd 6th, ridden before 4 out, chased winner after 3 out, one pace and well held, 2nd of 7, 9l behind Ericht (10-12) at Musselburgh 2m 4f nov chs (3) sft in Feb.
Saved By John (IRE) 8-1 (10-6) With leader, led 1st, headed before 4 out, weakened 2 out, 5th of 9, 29l behind Poole Master (10-8) at Chepstow 2m hcp chs (2) hvy in Feb.
Top Of The Range (IRE) 4-1 (11-7) In rear, pushed along before 5 out, headway before 4 out, weakened from 3 out, 4th of 5, 28l behind Holywell (11-7) at Doncaster 3m nov chs (4) gs in Feb.
The Cockney Mackem (IRE) 16-1 (11-4) Held up in last pair, some progress approaching 8th, blundered 4 out, disputing poor 8th when fell 2 out, in a race won by Lancetto (11-7) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Dec, 10 ran.
Notarfbad (IRE) 100-1 (11-2) Raced keenly, led, pushed along and headed before 2 out, driven and weakened between last 2, 4th of 6, 27l behind Melodic Rendezvous (11-10) at Wincanton 2m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
The Romford Pele (IRE) 6-5 (11-0) Tracked winner, challenged 12th until driven and outpaced after next, stayed on to challenge again when mistake 4 out, not fluent after, ridden and 5 lengths down last, stayed on flat, held near finish, 2nd of 3, 1/2l behind Edmund Kean (11-7) at Ludlow 3m nov chs (4) hvy in Feb.
Cloudy Bob (IRE) 15-8fav (11-2) Led, reached for 2nd and headed, tracked leaders, outpaced approaching 3 out, rallied after 2 out, 3rd and one pace last, no impression, 3rd of 6, 8l behind Rydalis (10-10) at Leicester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft in Feb.
Lost Legend (IRE) 16-1 (11-9) Took keen hold, held up towards rear, not fluent 6th, pushed along and struggling in 6th after 4 out, never involved, 6th of 10, 30l behind Present View (11-8) at Kempton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Feb.
Al Alfa 5-1 (9-11) Tracked leaders, challenged after 5th, led before 4 out, ridden and headed flat, held after, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 9, 3 1/2l behind Poole Master (10-8) at Chepstow 2m hcp chs (2) hvy in Feb.
Elenika (FR) 9-2 (10-3) In touch until lost place 3rd, headway to chase leaders after 10th, went 3rd next and driven along, one pace and no impression from 2 out, 3rd of 7, 8l behind Shangani (10-12) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy.
Royal Guardsman (IRE) 7-2fav (10-5) Held up towards rear, slightly hampered 4th, headway on inside 8th, disputing 3rd 3 out, definite 3rd before next, dropped to 4th flat, 4th of 8, 12l behind Next Sensation (10-12) at Doncaster 2m (3) gs in Dec.
Le Grand Chene (FR) 16-1 (11-0) Not always fluent in rear, headway on outside 10th, weakening when mistake 13th, tailed off, 7th of 11, well behind Take The Mick (11-5) at Ludlow 3m cond hcp hdl 0-105 (4) hvy in Feb.