David Pipe's Ashkazar won well when successful at Cheltenham last week, rallying well on the run-in to narrowly get the better of Divers, but along with Alsadaa, he may struggle under his penalty and a better bet receiving 8lbs looks to be PETIT ROBIN. Nicky Henderson's gelding looked good when landing Kempton's Desert Orchid Chase at the Christmas meeting and again when chasing home Twist Magic at Ascot but he disappointed at the festival, however, the seven-year-old ran much better at Aintree last time (again over fences) and he can resume winning ways now back in trip to two miles and returned to hurdles. Michael Wigham's Siberian Tiger has shown progressive from this term but this represents a step up in class, while Alison Thorpe's Treaty Flyer has struggled since completing a hat-trick in the autumn. Petit Robin has not raced over hurdles for some time but trip and ground conditions are ideal for Nicky Henderson's gelding and he looks worth siding with.
Alsadaa (USA) 20-1 (11-12) Soon chased leader until driven and weakened approaching 2 out, 7th of 12, 13l behind Dani's Girl (9-9) at Ascot 2m Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Oct.
Ashkazar (FR) 9-2fav (11-12) Led, headed after 2 out, rallied last, ridden and stayed on to regain lead towards finish, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gd beating Divers (10-8) by nk, 13 ran.
Apartman (CZE) 22-1 (10-12) Not fluent early, held up, headway after 4 out, led going well before next, drew clear from 2 out, comfortably, won at Ayr 2m 4yo nov hdl (3) gd in Apr '09 beating Giorgio Quercus (11-8) by 15l, 4 ran.
Petit Robin (FR) 10-1 (11-7) Tracked leader and keen, led 7th, headed 3 out, ridden approaching last, no extra when lost 2 places near finish, 5th of 7, 8l behind Khyber Kim (11-7) at Aintree 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) gd.
Siberian Tiger (IRE) 25-1 (10-8) In touch, pulled hard, went 2nd when mistake 2 out, stayed on same pace flat, 4th of 22, 3l behind Sir Harry Ormesher (11-1) at Aintree 2m 4f listed hcp hdl (1) gd.
Treaty Flyer (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) In touch, lost place approaching 2 out, soon weakened, 17th of 23, well behind Qaspal (10-3) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gs in Mar.