DYNASTE tackles this shorter race rather than the RSA Chase and can confirm himself among the season's top novice chasers by shrugging off a strong challenge from at home and across the Irish Sea. David Pipe's seven-year-old beat a small-but-select field over track and trip in November before winning at Newbury and easily beating today's rivals Third Intention and Molotof in the Grade 1 Feltham over 3m at Kempton. Colin Tizzard's charge made the unbeaten Captain Conan work hard for victory next time which suggests the selection has the beating of that one while Molotof went on to win a competitive handicap at Warwick before finishing second in a Grade 2 at Kempton. Benefficient is consistent but flattered by his recent win in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown while Sire Collonges hasn't been seen since well beaten by Our Father over 3m1f here in November. Texas Jack has claims on his close second to Boston Bob at Leopardstown and none of the others can be completely ruled out, though the five-year-old Argocat may struggle only receiving a pound from his older rivals.
Aupcharlie (IRE) 1-2fav (11-5) Held up mainly 3rd, travelling well in straight, challenged last and soon ridden, no impression on winner closing stages, 2nd of 5, 1/2l behind Tofino Bay (11-5) at Naas 3m nov chs G2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Benefficient (IRE) 10-1 (11-12) Raced 3rd, slight mistake 2nd, left 2nd 4 out, travelling well behind leader after 2 out, improved to dispute lead when left well clear at last, stayed on well run-in, won at Leopardstown 2m 1f nov chs G1 (1) hvy in Jan beating Oscars Well (11-12) by 20l, 3 ran.
Captain Conan (FR) 1-2fav (11-4) Settled in 4th, driven to challenge 3 out, stayed on under pressure to lead towards finish, all out, won at Sandown 2m 4f nov chs G1 (1) hvy in Feb beating Third Intention (11-4) by nk, 4 ran.
Changing Times (IRE) 8-1 (11-4) Led until 9th, mistake 11th, soon lost place, modest 4th, last of 4, 35l behind Captain Conan (11-4) at Sandown 2m 4f nov chs G1 (1) hvy in Feb.
Desert Cry (IRE) 5-1 (11-8) Jumped left at times, tracked leader from 2nd, not fluent 3 out, led 2 out, headed last, held towards finish, 2nd of 4, 1/2l behind Viva Colonia (11-4) at Musselburgh 2m 4f nov chs (3) gs in Feb.
Dynaste (FR) 8-13fav (11-7) Held up in touch on inside, headway to lead 4 out, drew clear from next, easily, won at Kempton 3m nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) hvy in Dec beating Hadrian's Approach (11-7) by 9l, 7 ran.
Marito (GER) 7-4fav (11-5) Led, not fluent 1st and 2nd, headed before 2 out, led again after 2 out, ridden before last, headed early run-in, no extra and dropped to 3rd close home, 3rd of 6, 3/4l behind Texas Jack (11-5) at Leopardstown 2m 5f nov chs G2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Module (FR) 1-4fav (11-7) Always prominent, not fluent 7th, led approaching 3 out, ridden clear flat, won at Leicester 2m nov chs (4) hvy in Jan beating Achimota (11-0) by 12l, 5 ran.
Molotof (FR) 11-8fav (11-7) Relucant and reminders to jump off, led, clear 4th until after 7th, joined 3 out, not fluent next, driven and headed before last, dropped to 3rd when left 2nd last, kept on flat, always held, 2nd of 5, 1l behind Grandioso (11-4) at Kempton 2m 4f nov chs G2 (1) gd in Feb.
Sire Collonges (FR) 2-1fav (11-7) Led, pecked 13th, narrowly headed 3 out, chased winner but no chance from 2 out, 2nd of 7, 20l behind Our Father (10-13) at Cheltenham 3m nov chs (2) sft in Nov.
Texas Jack (IRE) 9-2 (11-10) Tracked leaders, 4th 4 out, good headway to join issue 2 out, led last and soon ridden, kept on under pressure, headed on line, 2nd of 6, ns behind Boston Bob (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m 5f nov chs G1 (1) sft in Feb.
Third Intention (IRE) 11-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, jumped right 1st, took closer order 8th, led 10th, headed 4 out, led again next, hard ridden and no extra when headed close home, 2nd of 4, nk behind Captain Conan (11-4) at Sandown 2m 4f nov chs G1 (1) hvy in Feb.
Argocat (IRE) 9-4 (10-9) Waited with last of the 5, closed 7 out, soon tracking leaders, travelling well and challenged straight, in front 2 out, in command when got in close to last, stayed on well run-in, very easily, won at Limerick 2m 3f nov chs Grade 2 (1) hvy in Dec beating Snooze (11-6) by 8l, 5 ran.