Well Refreshed has made giant strides over marathon trips this year and seems to have sorted out his jumping problems. He won a Grade 3 by 10 lengths at Haydock last time though is probably better with plenty of give in the ground and is 13lb higher now. Paul Nicholls won this last year with the top weight but Newbury winner Michel Le Bon is no Tidal Bay while the handicapper has done novice Hadrian's Approach no favours. Hold On Julio would have been interesting had he not turned in a poor performance at Ascot last time but Same Difference showed that staying was his game when winning the Kim Muir at The Festival and Balthazar King was prominent for a long way in the Grand National. Stable companion DUKE OF LUCCA had Same Difference behind in the Racing Plus Chase at Kempton in February and wasn't disgraced at Aintree earlier this month when sixth to Battle Group, ahead of today's rival Ikorodu Road. He could easily reverse Hennessy running in December with Hold On Julio over this longer distance and gets a tentative vote. Away We Go had Muirhead behind when second in the Irish Grand National and also warrants a second look.
Michel Le Bon (FR) 5-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, headway 12th, not fluent next, challenging when bumped 3 out, led before last, ridden clear flat, won at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Mar beating Hey Big Spender (11-12) by 9l, 9 ran.
Hadrian's Approach (IRE) 7-1 (11-4) Held up in touch on outside, not fluent 9th, blundered 13th (water), tracked leading pair after 4 out, ridden and effort before 2 out, 4th and one pace when left 3rd last, kept on, no impression, 3rd of 11, 8l behind Lord Windermere (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m nov chs G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Balthazar King (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Led to 8th (canal turn), in touch, led again after 16th (water), headed 19th, chased leaders, outpaced 3 out, weakened from next, 15th of 40, well behind Auroras Encore (10-3) at Aintree 4m 3f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gs.
Hold On Julio (IRE) 13-2 (11-12) Mid-division, weakening when blundered 13th, soon struggling in rear, 5th of 13, 32l behind Pigeon Island (10-8) at Ascot 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd.
Same Difference (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Mid-division in touch, headway 4 out (usual 5 out), ridden to chase leading pair after 2 out (usual 3 out), challenged after last (usual 2 out), stayed on to lead narrowly flat, just held on, won at Cheltenham 3m 1f Amateur Handicap Chase (0-145) (5yo+) (2) gs in Mar beating Super Duty (11-12) by hd, 24 ran.
Well Refreshed 9-2fav (10-0) In rear, headway before 5 out, went 2nd before 3 out, led 2 out, clear before and blundered last, kept on well, won at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Feb beating Rigadin De Beauchene (10-2) by 10l, 14 ran.
Duke Of Lucca (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Mid-division, pushed along and lost place 11th, 6th of 18, 41l behind Battle Group (10-9) at Aintree 3m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) gd.
Galaxy Rock (IRE) 14-1 (11-9) In touch when fell 1st, in a race won by Same Difference (11-0) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Amateur Handicap Chase (0-145) (5yo+) (2) gs in Mar, 24 ran.
Muirhead (IRE) 33-1 (10-5) Rear of mid-division, never a factor, 12th 2 out, kept on same pace without troubling leaders, 6th of 28, 17l behind Liberty Counsel (9-5) at Fairyhouse 3m 5f Ext hcp ch.
On Trend (IRE) 33-1 (11-9) Always behind, tailed off when pulled up before last (usual 2 out), in a race won by Same Difference (11-0) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Amateur Handicap Chase (0-145) (5yo+) (2) gs in Mar, 24 ran.
The Rainbow Hunter 50-1 (10-6) Mid-division when mistake and unseated rider 8th (canal turn), in a race won by Auroras Encore (10-3) at Aintree 4m 3f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gs, 40 ran.
Mr Moss (IRE) 10-1 (10-5) Took keen hold, held up in mid-division on inside, blundered 3rd, outpaced 13th, blundered 4 out, headway approaching 3 out, chased winner between last two, driven upsides and every chance flat, no extra and held in closing stages, 2nd of 12, 1/2l behind Quentin Collonges (10-0) at Doncaster 3m 2f hcp chs (2) gd in Mar.
Saint Are (FR) 50-1 (10-8) Towards rear, headway into mid-division 25th, (valentines), kept on same pace, never near leaders, 9th of 40, 49l behind Auroras Encore (10-3) at Aintree 4m 3f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gs.
Dover's Hill 20-1 (10-11) Led, headed 15th, chased leader until approaching 18th, weakened 4 out, 6th of 19, 42l behind Tidal Bay (11-12) at Sandown 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Apr '12.
Becauseicouldntsee (IRE) 66-1 (10-6) Mid-division, hit 2nd, lost place and behind halfway, lost touch when pulled up before 21st, in a race won by Auroras Encore (10-3) at Aintree 4m 3f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gs, 40 ran.
Tatenen (FR) 100-1 (10-10) Mid-division, mistake 4th, fell 12th, in a race won by Auroras Encore (10-3) at Aintree 4m 3f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gs, 40 ran.
Ikorodu Road 25-1 (10-13) Towards rear, ridden before 4 out, soon weakened, pulled up before 3 out, 8th of 18, 49l behind Battle Group (10-9) at Aintree 3m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) gd.
Quentin Collonges (FR) 15-2 (10-0) Made all, clear 4 out, hit 2 out, not fluent last, strongly pressed and joined flat, kept on gamely and found extra in closing stages, won at Doncaster 3m 2f hcp chs (2) gd in Mar beating Mr Moss (10-5) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
Away We Go (IRE) 25-1 (10-2) Settled in mid-division, 12th halfway, smooth headway to go 2nd entering straight, challenged approaching last, ridden and no impression on winner run-in, kept on one pace, 2nd of 28, 1/2l behind Liberty Counsel (9-5) at Fairyhouse 3m 5f Ext hcp ch.
There's No Panic (IRE) 9-1fav (10-9) Mistake 1st, behind, mistake 10th (bechers), struggling 13th (valentines), hampered and unseated rider 4 out, in a race won by Triolo D'Alene (10-7) at Aintree 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs, 29 ran.