Big Occasion beat Rebeccas Choice in the Midlands Grand National when Fill The Power was fifth and Cool Operator pulled up. David Pipe's improving stayer should confirm the form with those behind but six-year-olds have a shocking record in this marathon. Bradley was a late withdrawal at Uttoxeter on account of the heavy going but he's won on the soft and is arguably the pick of the weights on his close second to Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude at Cheltenham in the autumn. He's respected with Conor Shoemark taking off 7lb while Always Right was third in this two years ago and returned to form when beating Garleton in a Listed chase at Kelso. Nuts N Bolts is another potentially well treated and he can reverse Cheltenham running with Our Mick but it's difficult to fancy Aintree hero Auroras Encore off an 11lb higher mark while this may be too tough for Haydock winner Monsieur Cadou. RIVAL D'ESTRUVAL would have been involved in the finish of the National Hunt Chase at The Festival had he not fallen two out. Pauline Robson's novice is normally a safe conveyance and would have finished well ahead of eventual third Godsmejudge had he stayed on his feet. He may well be the answer to this, though Mister Marker and the Venetia Williams' pair Rigadin De Beauchene and Relax all have place claims.
Auroras Encore (IRE) 66-1 (10-3) Always prominent, tracked leading pair after 3 out, led last, ridden and stayed on well to go clear flat, won at Aintree 4m 3f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gs beating Cappa Bleu (10-11) by 9l, 40 ran.
Lion Na Bearnai (IRE) 40-1 (10-5) Mid-division, outpaced 5 out, weakened next, soon pulled up, in a race won by Bobs Worth (11-6) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec, 19 ran.
Silver By Nature 20-1 (11-12) Mid-division, soon lost place, mistake 12th, tailed off before 6 out, pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Well Refreshed (10-0) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Feb, 14 ran.
Our Mick 13-2fav (11-4) In touch on outside, reminder after 4 out, soon challenged, led next, headed approaching 2 out, kept on same pace, no impression with winner before last, 2nd of 24, 10l behind Golden Chieftain (10-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Mar.
Always Right (IRE) 20-1 (11-2) Held up behind, hampered 9th, headway 13th, 4th and outpaced after 3 out, ridden and stayed on to challenge between last 2, led narrowly flat, just held on, won at Kelso 2m 7f lst chs (1) sft in Mar beating Garleton (11-2) by hd, 8 ran.
Rival D'Estruval (FR) 8-1 (11-6) Held up behind, headway into mid-division 14th, tracked leaders 20th, forced through between horses to lead briefly after 3 out, upsides and every chance when fell next, in a race won by Back In Focus (11-6) at Cheltenham 4m am nov chs (2) gs in Mar, 16 ran.
Garleton (IRE) 9-1 (11-9) Chasing leaders when unsighted and fell 2nd, in a race won by Pigeon Island (10-8) at Ascot 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd, 13 ran.
Knockara Beau (IRE) 18-1 (11-1) Mid-division on inside, lost place when unseated rider 7th, in a race won by Golden Chieftain (10-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Mar, 24 ran.
Godsmejudge (IRE) 7-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders, driven and outpaced 3 out, went 3rd after 2 out, kept on same pace, just held on for 3rd, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 16, 20l behind Back In Focus (11-6) at Cheltenham 4m am nov chs (2) gs in Mar.
Rose Of The Moon (IRE) 12-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders, hampered and lost place 18th, soon outpaced, not recover and pulled up before 21st, in a race won by Back In Focus (11-6) at Cheltenham 4m am nov chs (2) gs in Mar, 16 ran.
Problema Tic (FR) 14-1 (11-1) Chased leader, led before 3 out, headed 2 out, weakened before last, 4th of 18, 35l behind Battle Group (10-9) at Aintree 3m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) gd.
Tour Des Champs (FR) 16-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, ridden after 4 out, weakened before 3 out, 7th of 18, 46l behind Battle Group (10-9) at Aintree 3m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) gd.
Bradley 11-2 (11-8) Held up, jumped right and bumped 1st, not fluent 8th, driven before 14th, soon beaten, jumped right 15th and pulled up, in a race won by Rigadin De Beauchene (10-3) at Warwick 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Jan, 13 ran.
Mister Marker (IRE) 18-1 (11-7) Led, headed 11th, remained close up, outpaced 2 out, kept on same pace from last, 4th of 8, 4 1/2l behind Rolecarr (11-1) at Kelso 2m 7f Am hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Feb.
Rigadin De Beauchene (FR) 2-1fav (11-8) Chased leading pair, mistake 4th, lost 3rd at 8th, went 3rd again 13th, weakened before 3 out, tailed off in poor 4th when pulled up before last, in a race won by Soll (11-10) at Sandown 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Mar, 6 ran.
Nuts N Bolts 25-1 (10-8) Mistake 1st, behind, headway under pressure 3 out, kept on from next, never near leaders, 6th of 24, 15l behind Golden Chieftain (10-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Mar.
Big Occasion (IRE) 6-1 (9-7) Held up in rear, headway before 5 out, soon chasing leaders, led next, driven 2 out, stayed on well, won at Uttoxeter 4m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) hvy in Mar beating Rebeccas Choice (9-9) by 6l, 11 ran.
Relax (FR) 12-1 (11-2) In touch, ridden and lost place 15th, soon 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.
Fill The Power (IRE) 7-1 (10-7) Chased leaders, every chance 4 out, soon hard ridden and weakened, 5th of 11, 35l behind Big Occasion (9-7) at Uttoxeter 4m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) hvy in Mar.
Neptune Equester 11-4 (11-7) Tracked clear leader, driven after 4 out, headway under pressure next, ridden and 1 length down approaching last, led flat, kept on, all out, won at Wetherby 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Mar beating Westward Point (11-7) by 1 1/2l, 9 ran.
Pentiffic (NZ) 11-1 (10-9) Raced wide, chased leaders, led 5th until 8th, chased leader until led again 11th, headed before 15th, weakened quickly and pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Pigeon Island (10-8) at Ascot 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd, 13 ran.
Monsieur Cadou (FR) 10-1 (11-2) Held up towards rear, steady headway from 15th, went 2nd before 3 out, led next, clear before last, stayed on well, won at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Mar beating King Fontaine (11-4) by 8l, 12 ran.
Cool Operator 10-1 (10-2) Mid-division, slow 8th, under pressure 15th, weakened after next, behind when pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Big Occasion (9-7) at Uttoxeter 4m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) hvy in Mar, 11 ran.
Rebeccas Choice (IRE) 20-1 (9-9) Mid-division, mistakes 10th and 5 out, soon chasing leaders, effort after 4 out, went 2nd next, blundered last, kept on under pressure, 2nd of 11, 6l behind Big Occasion (9-7) at Uttoxeter 4m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) hvy in Mar.
Lively Baron (IRE) 11-2 (11-4) Soon tracked leading trio, went 3rd at 8th, chased winner before 13th, no impression when joined for 2nd 2 out, dropped to 3rd approaching last, 3rd of 6, 6l behind Soll (11-10) at Sandown 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Mar.
Captain Americo (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, ridden and lost place before 14th, soon in rear, hit 15th, tailed off, 8th of 12, 45l behind Monsieur Cadou (11-2) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Mar.