GRANDS CRUS will prove very difficult to beat. David Pipe has opted for the novice route rather than the Gold Cup for the seven-year-old, who won twice over hurdles here before chasing home Big Buck's at last year's Festival and at Aintree. He's already proven himself over fences in the Feltham at Kempton and is looking one of the meeting's banker bets. Bobs Worth, who was beaten just over five lengths at Kempton, is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles on this course so can be expected to produce another big effort without reversing the form. First Lieutenant, who won over hurdles at the meeting a year ago, had no answer to Last Investment in the Grade 1 Fort Leney at Lepardstown but has been geared up for this and should go well and though Join Together takes a leap in class he's won his last two races over the C&D.
Bobs Worth (IRE) 15-8 (11-7) Not always fluent, held up, headway to track leaders 4th, slow 16th and ridden, not fluent next (4 out), staying on in 4th when blundered 2 out, rallied before last, stayed on to 2nd flat, no impression on winner, 2nd of 7, 3l behind Invictus (11-4) at Ascot 3m nov chs G2 (1) gs in Feb.
Call The Police (IRE) 7-1 (11-10) Settled mainly 3rd, headway to go close 2nd approaching straight, challenged before last, ridden and no impression on winner run-in, 2nd of 4, 1 1/2l behind Last Instalment (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m 5f nov chs G1 (1) gs in Feb.
Cannington Brook (IRE) 10-3 (11-12) Close up, led 4th, clear from 2 out, eased towards finish, very easily, won at Haydock 2m 4f Novice Handicap Chase (0-140) (5yo+) (3) hvy in Feb beating Majala (11-5) by 35l, 8 ran.
First Lieutenant (IRE) 7-4fav (11-10) Tracked leaders mainly 5th, stumbled around halfway, left 3rd after 3 out, slight mistake next and soon no impression on first 2, kept on under pressure run-in to snatch 2nd near line, 2nd of 8, 6l behind Last Instalment (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) gd in Dec.
Grands Crus (FR) 6-5fav (11-7) Held up in 5th, close up 10th, led 12th, made rest, driven clear from 3 out, ridden when well in command approaching last, stayed on well, eased near finish, won at Kempton 3m nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec beating Silviniaco Conti (11-7) by 2 1/4l, 6 ran.
Join Together (IRE) 3-1 (11-9) Disputed lead, clear leader 5 out, joined again next, stayed on well approaching last, ridden clear flat, won at Cheltenham 3m 1f nov chs (2) gd in Dec beating Mossley (11-6) by 12l, 5 ran.
Lambro (IRE) 5-2 (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, mistake 2 out and dropped to 3rd, soon ridden, no impression under pressure on run-in, 3rd of 4, 3 1/2l behind Last Instalment (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m 5f nov chs G1 (1) gs in Feb.
Mr Moonshine (IRE) 16-1 (11-6) Chased leaders, led 6th, headed before 3 out, weakened 2 out, 13th of 19, well behind Grand Vision (10-3) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
Walkon (FR) 5-2fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, hit 10th, ridden after 12th, 4th and beaten last, no extra, 4th of 7, 15l behind For Non Stop (11-4) at Newbury 2m 4f nov chs G1 (1) gs in Feb.