TUSKAR ROCK is preferred to Pamak D'Airy and Our Jim amongst others. The two recent Venetia Williams trained winners of this race were returned at 2-1 and 3-1 so the market could provide a reasonable guide to the chances of Tuskar Rock who finished a close third at Huntingdon with the first three clear of the field. That was just his second start over fences, he's just 3lbs higher and has run well on both visits to the track. Support for Pommier D'Estruval would clearly be of interest whilst Qualypso D'allier would have claims if his jumping could hold up but stronger credentials are held by Pamak D'airy who has shown consistent form this season. Our Jim and Ballabrook should have more to offer in this sphere and are feared with the yard sending out plenty of winners here whilst Award Winner would be a threat to all if able to recapture the form of his Lingfield second but that now seems a distant memory. Grand Union, Istron Bay and King Fontaine are all unexposed so can't be ruled out with confidence but preference is for Tuskar Rock.
King Fontaine (IRE) 5-2 (11-0) Tracked leaders until pulled up after 7th, in a race won by John Forbes (11-0) at Catterick 2m 3f beg chase (4) sft in Jan, 5 ran.
Pamak D'airy (FR) 9-4fav (11-5) With leader, led 6th, hard pressed 4 out, ridden and headed 2 out, 3rd and no impression when left 6 lengths 2nd last, 2nd of 6, 6l behind Blacks Bridge (11-3) at Newcastle 2m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Jan.
Tuskar Rock (FR) 12-1 (11-9) Always prominent, led 8th until after next, remained pressing, led 2 out, headed after omitted last, lost 2nd close home, 3rd of 12, 1 1/4l behind King Jack (11-12) at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp ch 0-110 (4) sft in Feb.
Our Jim 11-4 (11-2) Prominent, left in lead approaching 7th, headed 9th, close up and every chance when left clear 3 out, won at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in May beating Mandingo Chief (11-8) by 38l, 8 ran.
Minella For Food (IRE) 25-1 (11-9) Took keen hold, led after 2nd, blundered and unseated rider 5th, in a race won by Carrickmines (11-12) at Ludlow 3m cond hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gs in Feb, 15 ran.
Award Winner 12-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders, lost place 5th, soon in rear, stayed on well from last, 6th of 12, 7l behind Good For Blue (11-0) at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Feb.
Ballabrook (IRE) 3-1fav (11-6) Held up towards rear, slow 2nd, headway halfway, soon no impression, 7th of 12, well behind Quito Du Tresor (11-9) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gd in Jan.
Only For Sue 33-1 (10-9) Held up, towards rear, weakened 4 out, tailed off, 9th of 10, well behind Cabinet Minister (11-12) at Exeter 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Feb.
Istron Bay 5-1 (11-1) Held up towards rear, ridden 7th, always behind, 7th of 9, 27l behind Tempting Paradise (11-4) at Ludlow 2m hcp ch 0-110 (4) gs in Feb.
Pommier D'Estruval (FR) 12-1 (10-12) Always towards rear, last of 8, 49l behind Seabass (10-6) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp chs 0-116 hvy in Jan.
Qualypso D'allier (FR) 7-1 (10-9) Held up when blundered and unseated rider 2nd, in a race won by Afistfullofpebbles (11-10) at Ffos Las 2m 5f nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Jan, 12 ran.
Grand Union (IRE) 5-1 (10-10) Held up mid-division, headway and hit 3 out, no impression after, 4th of 11, 5l behind The Snail (11-10) at Musselburgh 3m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Jan.