It's ten years since Hedgehunter, carrying a feather weight, won this for Willie Mullins but he didn't land the big one at Aintree until two years later. Vesper Bell represents the champion trainer this time and though he's a very smart staying prospect he's far too inexperienced for Aintree and will be heading for Cheltenham after this. A handicap mark of 138 gives him plenty to do in this tough handicap and though ARBOR SUPREME has failed to complete the course in three Grand Nationals this is more of his level, as he showed when landing the Devon Marathon at Exeter, and he gets the nod in receipt of so much weight. Give Us A Hand has won once in 32 starts under Rules and Miss Pepperpot is an uncertain stayer but Murchu scored over 3m5f at Fairyhouse and has no problems with the trip.
Vesper Bell (IRE) 5-4 (11-12) Tracked leader in 2nd, challenged 3 out and led travelling best approaching straight, soon asserted and stayed on well, easily, won at Punchestown 3m beg chs hvy in Dec beating Carry Each Other (11-12) by 15l, 5 ran.
Arbor Supreme (IRE) 33-1 (9-9) In touch in mid-division, outpaced by leaders before 5 out, stayed on same pace from 3 out, never back on terms, 4th of 17, 16l behind Monbeg Dude (10-1) at Chepstow 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Jan.
Carry Each Other (IRE) 25-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden approaching 3 out and no impression on winner entering straight, went moderate 2nd after 2 out and kept on one pace, 2nd of 5, 15l behind Vesper Bell (11-12) at Punchestown 3m beg chs hvy in Dec.
Give Us A Hand (IRE) 2-1fav (11-8) Tracked leaders, mistake 5 out (usual 7 out), struggling from 2 out (normal 4 out), no extra and kept on same pace from before straight, 4th of 8, 30l behind Valley Of Thrushes (9-10) at Limerick 2m 6f Handicap Chase (0-123) (10yo+) hvy in Dec.
Miss Pepperpot (IRE) 13-2 (11-6) Tracked leaders in 3rd, 4th approaching 3 out and no impression entering straight, left moderate 3rd 2 out, kept on one pace under pressure, 3rd of 11, 11l behind Panther Claw (11-11) at Punchestown 3m 1f Amateur Handicap Chase (0-123) (5yo+) hvy in Jan.
Droim Toll (IRE) 6-1 (11-2) Waited with towards rear, slow jump 3 out (normal 5 out), soon no impression and kept on same pace, 5th of 8, 42l behind Valley Of Thrushes (9-10) at Limerick 2m 6f Handicap Chase (0-123) (10yo+) hvy in Dec.
Murchu (IRE) 10-1 (9-5) Mid-division, some headway in 6th when mistake and unseated rider 4 out, in a race won by Jadanli (10-7) at Gowran Park 3m 1f hcp chs hvy in Jan, 18 ran.
Prince Of Leisure (IRE) 25-1 (10-7) Mid-division, 6th 4 out and headway to go 2nd before next, soon no impression on easy winner and kept on one pace, 2nd of 13, 16l behind Lookoutnow (11-7) at Gowran Park 2m 4f hcp chs 0-123 hvy in Jan.
Spot The Boss (IRE) 7-1 (10-13) Always prominent and disputed lead, led before 5 out until joined approaching 3 out, ridden and dropped to 3rd entering straight, left 2nd 2 out, no impression on winner before last, kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 11, 2l behind Panther Claw (11-11) at Punchestown 3m 1f Amateur Handicap Chase (0-123) (5yo+) hvy in Jan.
Rickardstown (IRE) 9-4 (11-8) Took keen hold, held up in close 4th, went 2nd going strongly 15th, not fluent and led narrowly 3 out, not fluent 2 out and last, idled flat, headed towards finish, 2nd of 4, 3/4l behind No Panic (11-12) at Ffos Las 3m 1f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gf in Jun '11.
Spiker The Biker (IRE) 8-1 (9-12) Tracked leaders, close up and a bit slow 3 out, ridden to chase leaders from next, kept on under pressure without quite getting to principals closing stages, dead-heated for 3rd but promoted to a share of 2nd, 2nd of 9, 1/2l behind Miss Xian (11-6) at Fairyhouse 2m 7f hcp hdl 80-109 hvy in Jan.