With a £75,000 bonus up for grabs should the winner of this Listed contest go on to success at Cheltenham, it's no surprise a maximum of 24 will line up. David Pipe, and his father Martin before him, has farmed this handicap in recent years so Master Of Arts has to be worth a second look despite the fact that he hasn't raced over hurdles since finishing down the field at the Festival in 2009. Ted Spread was a decent stayer on the Flat for Mark Tompkins and beat today's rival Pascha Bere on his handicap debut over timber at Taunton. He's now 15lb higher, however, while Sire De Grugy may struggle to confirm latest running at the same west country track with Devil To Pay. ILE DE RE runs in his first handicap over hurdles but may have been let in lightly on the evidence of his victory over C&D in a novice event under a penalty last month. The fast-improving grey will relish the soft ground and can complete his hat-trick off a low weight.
Sire De Grugy (FR) 5-2fav (11-6) Chased leaders on inside, went 2nd approaching 4 out, hit next, led before omitted 2 out, clear before last, stayed on well, readily, won at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs in Feb beating Devil To Pay (10-3) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Torphichen 6-1 (11-4) Chased leading pair, reminder 4 out, not fluent and lost 3rd next, weakened next, tailed off, last of 4, 32l behind Celestial Halo (11-12) at Haydock 2m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Pateese (FR) 6-1 (11-3) Chased leaders, ridden and weakened from 2 out, 6th of 10, 20l behind Smad Place (11-9) at Ascot 2m 3f Ltd hcp hdl (1) gs in Jan.
Ted Spread 5-4fav (10-13) Held up towards rear, headway after 3 out, led on bit approaching last, shaken up and sauntered clear flat, won at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Jan beating Pascha Bere (11-7) by 7l, 12 ran.
Ciceron (IRE) 25-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, ridden and switched right after 3 out, no impression, 13th of 20, 16l behind Zarkandar (11-1) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl G3 (1) gs in Feb.
Master of Arts (USA) 17-2 (11-0) Not always fluent, held up in rear, effort and hanging left before 2 out, soon no impression and weakened, 11th of 18, 37l behind Zaynar (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo nov hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar '09.
Swift Lord (IRE) 5-2 (11-0) Led until after 1st, chased leader, led again approaching 5th, came clear before 2 out, very easily, won at Hereford 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Mar '11 beating Dashing Doc (10-7) by 28l, 7 ran.
Art Professor (IRE) 12-1 (10-7) Held up towards rear, ridden along before 4 out, plugged on from next, never on terms, 6th of 18, 19l behind Bourne (9-11) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) gs in Feb.
Celtus (FR) 4-5fav (11-2) Took keen hold, tracked leader, slow and lost 2nd 5th, disputing 2nd from 9th, chased winner and ridden 4 out, no impression and beaten next, 2nd of 4, 33l behind Lidar (10-12) at Newbury 2m 1f Novice Handicap Chase (0-140) (4yo+) (3) gd in Nov.
Zanir (FR) 12-1 (10-11) Held up towards rear, never in contention, 11th of 16, 12l behind Secret Tune (11-0) at Kempton 2m n h flat (6) std in Feb.
Johns Spirit (IRE) 6-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, ridden approaching last, stayed on same pace final 150 yards, 3rd of 12, 2 3/4l behind Chesil Beach Boy (10-9) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Jan.
Pascha Bere (FR) 14-1 (11-7) Prominent, ridden and every chance approaching last, stayed on same pace, well held by winner flat, 2nd of 12, 7l behind Ted Spread (10-13) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Jan.
First In The Queue (IRE) 14-1 (10-13) Mid-division, outpaced 2 out, driven and kept on same pace approaching last, no impression, 8th of 14, 11l behind Module (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan.
Chesil Beach Boy 7-2fav (10-9) Held up, headway after 4th, led after next, went right last, hung right flat, stayed on well, won at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Jan beating Minella Special (9-7) by 2 1/4l, 12 ran.
Paintball (IRE) 8-1 (11-3) Mid-division, headway 2 out, ridden and effort towards stands side rail approaching last, weakened flat, 7th of 13, 22l behind Bally Legend (11-9) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Dec.
Devil To Pay 5-1 (10-3) Held up towards rear, headway 3 out, went 3rd before ommited 2 out, stayed on to 2nd before last, closed on winner towards finish, always held, 2nd of 11, 3/4l behind Sire De Grugy (11-6) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs in Feb.
Ascendant 25-1 (10-9) Held up towards rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, went 2nd close home, 2nd of 16, 2l behind Secret Tune (11-0) at Kempton 2m n h flat (6) std in Feb.
Lucaindubai (IRE) 50-1 (11-2) Held up in 5th, mistake 3rd, weakened well before 2 out, 4th of 5, 43l behind Binocular (11-10) at Wincanton 2m hdl G2 (1) sft in Feb.
Monetary Fund (USA) 11-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders, ridden 3 out, weakened approaching next, 8th of 12, 31l behind Ted Spread (10-13) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Jan.
Grafite 10-1 (11-5) Held up in touch, pushed along and lost place 4 out, 9th of 13, well behind Tenor Nivernais (11-7) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Feb.
Nampour (FR) 25-1 (11-2) Prominent, chased winner 3 out until before next, went 10 lengths 2nd again last, stayed on, no impression, 2nd of 11, 3 1/2l behind Balgarry (11-7) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs.
Ile De Re (FR) 2-5fav (11-9) Tracked leaders, led 2 out, hard pressed last, ridden and headed narrowly flat, rallied to regain lead towards finish, won at Sandown 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Feb beating Vimiero (11-2) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
El Dancer (GER) 9-1 (11-2) Led to before 2nd, tracked leader, ridden before last, weakened flat, 5th of 10, 21l behind Attaglance (11-9) at Market Rasen 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Feb.
Rowan Tiger 9-2fav (11-6) Tracked leaders, ridden to chase winner 3 out, lost 2nd last, no extra towards finish, 4th of 14, 8l behind Tayarat (9-7) at Ludlow 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Feb.