A typically competitive renewal of one of The Festival's toughest handicaps. It's proved a graveyard for punters recently with the last 10 winners all starting at double-figure odds which doesn't bode well for the well-backed Philip Hobbs' pair Fingal Bay and If In Doubt, first and second in a qualifier at Exeter last month ahead of Quartz de Thaix and Broadway Buffalo. Southfield Theatre has proved difficult to place since winning at Wincanton in October but last year's third Jetson arrives off the back of a victory at Punchestown, though Irish winners of this have become less common lately. Josies Orders is turning into a decent stayer and has won three of his last four starts but Warwick scorer Uncle Jimmy may struggle to confirm running with GRAND VISION on today's revised terms. Colin Tizzard's grey has been placed subsequently over an inadequate trip and, lightly-raced for his age, gets a tentative vote as Top Wood was put up 10lb for his victory at Haydock. Cross Kennon is a Festival regular and could run well at decent odds and there are also each-way possibilities about the mare Utopie Des Bordes, even though Geraghty prefers stablemate Mister Dillon.
Fingal Bay (IRE) 9-2 (11-7) Chased leaders, led 5th, driven and held on well flat, won at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb beating If In Doubt (11-0) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
Southfield Theatre (IRE) 5-6fav (11-4) In touch, not much room and lost place after about 1f, closed on outside over 4f out, soon pushed along, unable to quicken over 1f out, stayed on one pace, 5th of 14, 6l behind Caulfields Venture (11-4) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan.
Quartz de Thaix (FR) 8-1 (11-4) Held up in touch, soon in rear, struggling from 6th, tailed off, 6th of 7, well behind Seeyouatmidnight (11-6) at Haydock 3m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Trustan Times (IRE) 13-8 (11-0) Tracked leaders, mistake 4th, headway before 4 out, hung left before last, one pace, 3rd of 5, 6l behind Benvolio (11-4) at Haydock 2m 5f grd chs (5yo+) (2) hvy in Jan.
Jetson (IRE) 14-1 (10-5) Chased leaders, 5th halfway, ridden into 3rd entering straight, stayed on well from last to lead run-in, kept on well closing stages, won at Punchestown 3m hcp hdl hvy in Feb beating Thunder And Roses (9-11) by 1l, 16 ran.
Seefood (IRE) 20-1 (11-3) Prominent and raced wide, led 5th, briefly increased lead before not fluent 2 out, ridden and challenged last where not fluent, headed run-in, kept on one pace under pressure, 2nd of 21, 3/4l behind Courage (10-1) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl sft in Dec.
Mickie 5-1 (10-11) Held up towards rear, headway after 4 out, went 2nd before 3 out, every chance 2 out, ridden and hung left before last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Seeyouatmidnight (11-6) at Haydock 3m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Grand Vision (IRE) 5-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders in 4th, went 2nd 4 out, pushed along before 2 out, weakened before last, 3rd of 6, 20l behind Saphir Du Rheu (11-5) at Ffos Las 2m 4f ltd hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
On The Bridge (IRE) 12-1 (11-11) Held up towards rear, not fluent 7th, some headway before 8th, not on terms, pushed along after 2 out, ran on flat, nearest finish, 4th of 20, 3l behind Trackmate (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Oct.
Pineau De Re (FR) 11-4fav (10-11) In rear, headway before 13th, led 4 out, clear before 2 out, mistake last, kept on well, won at Exeter 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) sft in Jan beating Tullamore Dew (10-4) by 5l, 8 ran.
If In Doubt (IRE) 6-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 8th, chased winner after 2 out, ridden last, stayed on, not quite able to challenge, 2nd of 12, 1/2l behind Fingal Bay (11-7) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
Vics Canvas (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) Mid-division, ridden and no extra 3 out, 13th of 16, 34l behind Jetson (10-5) at Punchestown 3m hcp hdl hvy in Feb.
Uncle Jimmy (IRE) 15-2 (10-1) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 5th, went 2nd after 3 out, led when mistake next, ran on well, won at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Jan beating Grand Vision (10-11) by 2 3/4l, 12 ran.
Top Wood (FR) 25-1 (11-7) Made all, ridden and bumped by rival 2 out, kept on gamely run-in, driven out, won at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb beating Astigos (10-8) by 1 1/2l, 13 ran.
Mister Dillon 7-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, not fluent 6th, ridden after 4 out, went 2nd 3 out, no impression towards finish, 2nd of 11, 2l behind Wyse Hill Teabags (10-9) at Musselburgh 3m hcp hdl (2) sft in Feb.
Lie Forrit (IRE) 4-1 (11-8) With leader until ridden 3 out, weakened next, 6th of 9, 37l behind Kaki De La Pree (10-6) at Carlisle 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) sft in Dec.
Pateese (FR) 12-1 (11-5) Held up and raced on outside, headway approaching 3 out, ridden after 3 out and soon weakened, tailed off, 8th of 10, 42l behind Upswing (11-1) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) hvy in Feb.
First Fandango 12-1 (11-0) In touch, pushed along over 3f out, ridden and outpaced over 2f out, plugging on at same pace and no impression when not much room and eased final 100 yards, 10th of 13, 7l behind Tanks For That (11-0) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Feb.
Cross Kennon (IRE) 10-1 (11-4) Tracked leader, pushed along before 7th, ridden before 3 out, soon lost place, 4th of 7, 22l behind Seeyouatmidnight (11-6) at Haydock 3m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Utopie Des Bordes (FR) 5-1 (11-5) Led, headed 8th, pushed along and lost 2nd before next, chased leaders under pressure, pushed along before 4 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 5th of 6, 32l behind Highland Retreat (11-5) at Ascot 3m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Crowning Jewel 10-1 (11-2) Always prominent, ridden 3 out, stayed on flat, 3rd of 11, 4l behind Wyse Hill Teabags (10-9) at Musselburgh 3m hcp hdl (2) sft in Feb.
Broadway Buffalo (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, not fluent 6th, headway approaching 8th, weakening when mistake 2 out, 5th of 12, 28l behind Fingal Bay (11-7) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
Josies Orders (IRE) 4-1 (10-8) Held up in touch in mid-division, headway 6th, went 2nd 3 out, led next, clear flat, easily, won at Huntingdon 3m 2f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Jan beating Dawn Twister (10-13) by 7l, 9 ran.
So Fine (IRE) 20-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders, went 2nd when not fluent 3 out, led when mistake 2 out, headed after last, stayed on, held towards finish, 3rd of 11, 1 1/4l behind Sunnyhillboy (10-8) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Dec.