Divers, Tartak, Finger Onthe Pulse, Matuhi, Giorgio Quercus and Hector's Choice all ran in this last year and race off lower marks this time around. Ferdy Murphy's grey came out best and has a good record at The Festival but Tartak is best in at the weights today, though has been largely out of sorts this term. Hunt Ball won the novices' handicap over course and distance 12 months ago when Carrickboy, Vino Griego and Bless The Wings were behind and he's been highly tried since. Vino Griego has come of age lately, winning here and at Ascot, while Shoegazer won at Fontwell last month though was beaten by Carrickboy at Chepstow in January and Tom Scudamore prefers easy Warwick winner Ballynagour to the eight-year-old, Matuhi and the once-useful Zaynar of the Pipe quartet. CANTLOW was beaten in his first two starts over fences but those races were over 2m and he was always going to improve once given a stiffer test of stamina. Wins at Plumpton and Taunton were achieved with the minimum of fuss and ensured the handicapper couldn't be too harsh on Paul Webber's novice now he's stepped up in grade and distance. He looks the one to be on in this. Walkon has twice been second in valuable handicaps over track and trip this season and his run over hurdles last time can probably be ignored. It would be no surprise to see him run a big race.
Hunt Ball (IRE) 11-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders on inside, went 2nd at 13th, effort before 2 out, 3rd and weakened last, 3rd of 10, 37l behind Cape Tribulation (11-6) at Cheltenham 3m 1f chs Grd 2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Poquelin (FR) 25-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders on inside, effort 3 out, soon outpaced, weakened next, 8th of 16, 26l behind Katenko (10-13) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Jan.
Calgary Bay (IRE) 7-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, steady headway to mid-division approaching 13th, in touch next, weakened before 4 out, tailed off, 8th of 12, well behind Quentin Collonges (10-0) at Doncaster 3m 2f hcp chs (2) gd.
Bless The Wings (IRE) 10-1 (11-2) Mid-division, chased leaders 11th until weakened 3 out, 9th of 16, 43l behind Katenko (10-13) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Jan.
Walkon (FR) 12-1 (11-0) Mid-division, pushed along 8th, never on terms, weakened 2 out, behind when pulled up before last, in a race won by Reve De Sivola (11-8) at Cheltenham 3m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Jan, 10 ran.
Theatre Guide (IRE) 5-1 (11-7) Took keen hold, held up in 4th, headway 9th, went 3rd 11th until blundered 4 out, not fluent next, rallied and staying on 1 length down in 2nd when fell last, in a race won by Grandioso (11-4) at Kempton 2m 4f nov chs G2 (1) gd in Feb, 5 ran.
Shoegazer (IRE) 7-4 (11-6) Tracked leading pair, not fluent 5th, headway in dispute of 2nd approaching 3 out, led 2 out, stayed on well from last, ridden out, won at Fontwell 2m 6f nov chs (2) sft in Feb beating Poungach (11-6) by 3 1/2l, 5 ran.
Zaynar (FR) 16-1 (11-4) Pressed leader, hit 4th, led narrowly next, headed 11th, lost place 4 out, soon outpaced, 5th and ridden next, weakened 2 out, 7th of 10, well behind Sir Des Champs (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nov chs G2 (1) gd in Mar '12.
Vino Griego (FR) 11-4fav (11-3) Mid-division, headway 4 out, led after 2 out, driven clear last, ran on strongly, won at Ascot 3m lstd hcp chs (1) sft in Feb beating Cappa Bleu (11-10) by 2 1/2l, 9 ran.
Hector's Choice (FR) 33-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, went 2nd 4 out, pushed along and still pressing leaders next, weakened before 2 out, 7th of 13, 21l behind Opening Batsman (10-5) at Kempton 3m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Feb.
Ballynagour (IRE) 7-4fav (10-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, mistake and led 11th, clear before 13th, eased towards finish, won at Warwick 2m 4f hcp chs 0-150 (2) sft in Feb beating Niceonefrankie (10-9) by 19l, 10 ran.
Mad Moose (IRE) 50-1 (11-7) Allowed clear lead to 5th, headed 7th, outpaced in 4th 3 out, soon ridden, stayed on to take 2nd final 75 yards, no chance with easy winner, 2nd of 7, 14l behind Sprinter Sacre (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m chs G1 (1) hvy in Jan.
Cantlow (IRE) 4-9fav (11-4) Tracked leader, led 4 out, not fluent 2 out or last, comfortably, won at Taunton 2m 3f nov chs (3) sft in Jan beating Dare Me (10-12) by 14l, 4 ran.
Sweet My Lord (FR) 10-1 (9-13) Mid-division, good headway into 2nd 2 out, travelling well to dispute lead when fell at last, remounted to finish tailed off, last of 18, well behind Farrells Fancy (9-6) at Leopardstown 2m 5f hcp chs hvy in Jan.
Giorgio Quercus (FR) 14-1 (10-11) Held up, mistake 9th, jumped slowly and struggling 11th, well held by leaders 4 out, 5th of 10, 38l behind Bless The Wings (10-11) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs (2) gs in Nov.
Domtaline (FR) 11-4 (11-7) Tracked leader, slight peck 10th, pushed along before 3 out, outpaced to 3rd approaching last, last of 3, 4l behind Alasi (11-0) at Kempton 2m 4f grd chs (5yo+) (2) gs in Feb.
Kapga De Cerisy (FR) 7-2 (11-2) Led, hit 4th and next, headed 8th, led again 4 out, came clear from 3 out, kept on strongly, blundered last, eased flat, won at Sandown 2m nov chs (2) gd in Feb beating Fago (11-5) by 15l, 3 ran.
Carrickboy (IRE) 7-1 (11-12) Led, headed after 4th, ridden after 12th, not fluent 3 out, weakened and pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Politeo (10-8) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-140 (3) hvy in Jan, 8 ran.
Casey Top (IRE) 40-1 (9-9) Led, not fluent and headed 3 out, chased winner until approaching 2 out, no extra in 4th before last, 4th of 18, 21l behind Al Ferof (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) sft in Nov.
Mister Hyde (IRE) 25-1 (9-9) With leaders, fell 1st, in a race won by Opening Batsman (10-5) at Kempton 3m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Feb, 13 ran.
Matuhi 25-1 (10-6) Led, headed and hampered 3 out, weakened 2 out, hampered last, 6th of 10, 42l behind Bless The Wings (10-11) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs (2) gs in Nov.
Divers (FR) 20-1 (11-1) Held up in rear, headway after 9th, went 3rd approaching last, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 10, 7l behind Salubrious (11-9) at Musselburgh 2m 4f cnd hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Feb.
Finger Onthe Pulse (IRE) 9-4 (11-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden and no extra inside final furlong, 3rd of 5, 3l behind Representingceltic (11-0) at Lingfield 2m n h flat (5) std in Jan.
Tartak (FR) 10-3fav (11-1) Jumped left, prominent, led 4th, headed after next, led 8th, headed 4 out, beaten after 3 out, weakened into 4th after last, 4th of 9, 19l behind Michel Le Bon (11-7) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd.