Dave's Dream is sure to attract plenty of attention, Sunnyhillboy rates highly but our preference is for RAISE YOUR HEART. Dave's Dream has always been held in high regard and won the Imperial Cup very easily and he's due to race from a 13lb higher mark than he does today as a result. He's had little racing this season so should be fresh enough despite that recent run and the fact that his trainer has given him the go-ahead to contest this race is a big plus. Aachen has to be respected given that his shrewd connections have decided to aim him at this race but he doesn't appear to be obviously well handicapped and he will have to be nigh on top class to carry his weight to victory. All of the McManus horses merit consideration but Sunnyhillboy has obvious claims having completed his hat-trick in gritty fashion at Sandown and he could still be ahead of the game. The slow pace wouldn't have suited him that day but this race should play to his strengths and he's open to plenty of improvement. Cockney Trucker has been well touted but he comes into the race on the back of a poor run behind Mad Max which is not ideal although it does leave him on a fair mark and the better ground will suit. Sky Hall was still travelling well enough when falling in an Ascot handicap won by Sentry Duty and races from the same mark whilst Bedlam Boy hasn't shown a lot of late but isn't on a bad mark and is from a yard whose horses are always worth a second look. The Irish have taken this prize for the last two years and Raise Your Heart is fancied to complete a hat-trick for the Emerald Isle. He's 8lbs higher than when winning a muddling five runner race at Punchestown which isn't bad given the runner-up was rated a stone higher. That win goes some way to allaying stamina concerns, the better ground will suit and he looks progressive so we'll take Raise Your Heart to lift ours.
Clopf (IRE) 5-2 (11-12) In touch towards rear, 4th travelling well into straight, 3rd from 2 out, soon no impression under pressure, 5th of 6, 16l behind Solwhit (11-6) at Gowran Park 2m hdl Grd 2 hvy in Feb.
Arcalis 11-4 (10-12) Kept on well, held up mid-division, outpaced 7th, weakened after 4 out, 5th of 10, 29l behind Palomar (11-4) at Catterick 2m nov chs (3) gs in Dec.
Group Captain 14-1 (11-5) Always in the rear, ridden 6th, 13th of 14, well behind Chief Yeoman (10-10) at Sandown 2m 6f hcp hdl Grd 3 (1) sft in Jan.
Khyber Kim 4-1 (11-0) Mid-division, not fluent 6th or 7th, headway approaching 4 out, weakened 3 out, 5th of 11, 17l behind Cornas (11-0) at Ludlow 2m beg chs (4) sft in Jan.
Harper Valley (IRE) 33-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, ridden and weakened before 2 out, 11th of 19, 37l behind Dave's Dream (10-13) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gd.
Aachen 8-11fav (11-10) Always prominent, second 3 out, led on bit 2 out, blundered last, ran on well, won at Towcester 2m nov hdl (3) hvy in Feb beating Neil Harvey (11-7) by 4l, 8 ran.
Sesenta (IRE) 5-1 (10-8) Settled behind leaders, 5th halfway, 6th 2 out, headway in 5th entering straight, ridden into 2nd approaching last, kept on, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 4l behind Quevega (11-2) at Punchestown 2m 4f hdl sft in Feb.
Leo's Lucky Star (USA) 50-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, some progress after 3 out, weakened after 2 out, 14th of 20, 36l behind Go Native (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grd 1 (1) gs.
Cedrus Libani (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Mid-division, hit 2nd, badly hampered 6th, mistake 8th, soon weakened and pulled up 3 out in race won by Master Medic (11-5) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs 0-140 (2) gs in Dec, 13 ran.
Silver Jaro (FR) 14-1 (10-11) Mid-division, headway entering straight, under pressure in 9th last, no extra run-in, 11th of 29, 11l behind Penny's Bill (9-7) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 gs in Jan.
Raise Your Heart (IRE) 11-4 (11-6) Raced keenly, smooth headway 3 out, challenged travelling well in straight, led approaching last where slight mistake, ridden out run-in, won at Punchestown 2m 2f lst hdl sft in Oct beating Made In Taipan (11-9) by 1l, 5 ran.
Take The Breeze (FR) 20-1 (11-1) Always behind, 10th of 19, 31l behind Dave's Dream (10-13) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gd.
Rippling Ring (SAF) 9-4 (11-12) Held up, mistake 2nd, ridden and weakened after 3 out, last of 9, 26l behind I Have Dreamed (11-0) at Hereford 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gs in Feb.
Working Title (IRE) 11-4fav (11-9) Raced keenly, prominent, led after 3rd, headed 5th, led again next, headed after 3 out, weakened 2 out, 8th of 9, 24l behind Nortonthorpe Lad (11-2) at Ludlow 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Feb.
American Trilogy (IRE) 9-1 (10-2) Held up, ridden and beaten after 3 out, 9th of 14, 19l behind Serabad (10-10) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
Fisher Bridge (IRE) 14-1 (11-3) Held up, 5th halfway, ridden and no impression 2 out, moderate 4th before last, kept on one pace, 4th of 6, 13l behind Mikael D'haguenet (11-7) at Naas 2m 4f nov hdl Grd 2 sft in Jan.
Farringdon 7-1 (11-6) Mid-division, 8th halfway, headway in 4th before straight, narrow lead approaching 2 out, kept on well from before last, headed close home, 2nd of 13, hd behind An Cathaoir Mor (10-1) at Gowran Park 2m 1f hcp hdl 81-123 hvy in Jan.
Dave's Dream (IRE) 12-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, effort on outside to lead 2 out, clear before last, stayed on strongly, very easily, won at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gd beating Seven Is My Number (10-3) by 7l, 19 ran.
Sky Hall (IRE) 20-1 (10-6) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 5th, disputing 3rd when fell 3 out in race won by Sentry Duty (11-9) at Ascot 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gs in Dec, 21 ran.
Sunnyhillboy (IRE) 9-2jt-fav (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 2 out, chased leaders before last, sustained run flat, driven ahead near finish, won at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gs in Dec beating Spear Thistle (10-6) by a nk, 12 ran.
Bedlam Boy (IRE) 25-1 (11-6) Chased leaders, weakened 2 out, 4th of 14, 20l behind Arctic Wings (10-2) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan.
Culcabock (IRE) 25-1 (10-13) Always mid-division, 6th of 15, 41l behind Presenting Copper (10-8) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Jan.
Kandari (FR) 4-1fav (11-3) Held up towards rear, headway entering straight, stayed on to 5th last, kept on run-in, no extra close home, 6th of 16, 3/4l behind See U Bob (10-8) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-140 sft in Feb.
Nortonthorpe Lad (IRE) 3-1 (11-2) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 3 out, led soon after flight, went left 2 out, driven out flat, won at Ludlow 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Feb beating Nordwind (9-12) by 1 1/2l, 9 ran.
Cockney Trucker (IRE) 11-4 (11-5) Chased leaders, went 2nd 4 out, still well there and ridden 3 out, weakened from next, 5th of 16, 22l behind Mad Max (11-5) at Newbury 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Gloucester 150-1 (11-7) Hit 4th, always towards rear, tailed off, 16th of 20, well behind Go Native (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grd 1 (1) gs.
Moves Goodenough 25-1 (10-8) Mistake 2nd, took keen hold in mid-division, weakened rapidly before 2 out, 16th of 19, 49l behind Dave's Dream (10-13) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gd.
Stradbrook (IRE) 12-1 (10-10) Mid-division, driven after 3 out, soon weakened, 17th of 19, well behind Dave's Dream (10-13) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gd.