Having won this 12 months ago with current Grand National fancy Junior, it looks like David Pipe is going all out to saddle the winner again as four of his entries have stood their ground. Faasel was second last year before filling the same spot behind Poker De Sivola in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown and he returned to form in a veterans' handicap at Doncaster last month. But we prefer the lightly-weighted SONA SASTA, who has been set some very stiff tasks so far this term but found only subsequent Welsh National winner Le Beau Bai too good off this mark at Chepstow in December and ran well for a long way in the 4m National Hunt Chase here last season. Midnight Appeal, Mostly Bob, Brackloon High and Gurtracue all bring winning form into the race but The Hollinwell's latest victory came in a jumpers' bumper at Southwell and he doesn't always find a lot off the bridle. Sunnyhillboy and Be There In Five have disappointed this term while Fredo appears to have two ways of running and the fences often get in the way for Exmoor Ranger. Up The Beat and Start Me Up may be best of the rest but neither should be good enough at the weights
Up The Beat 5-1 (11-10) Rear of mid-division, headway into 5th 3 out, ridden in 3rd approaching last, kept on same pace but no impression on winner run-in, 2nd of 17, 3 1/2l behind Portrait King (10-7) at Punchestown 3m 4f Ext hcp ch hvy in Feb.
Exmoor Ranger (IRE) 12-1 (10-8) Chasing leaders when fell 9th, in a race won by Massini's Maguire (10-13) at Ascot 3m hcp chs Listed (1) gs in Feb, 12 ran.
Sunnyhillboy (IRE) 16-1 (11-3) In rear, effort before 2 out, never dangerous, 9th of 19, 39l behind Grand Vision (10-3) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
Swing Bill (FR) 3-1 (11-9) Tracked leading pair until 4th and dropped to last, outpaced 9th, looked struggling 5 out, rallied to 2nd 3 out, staying on and 3 lengths down last, no impression flat, 2nd of 4, 5l behind Victory Gunner (9-13) at Ffos Las 3m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy in Dec.
Faasel (IRE) 4-1 (11-8) Prominent, led approaching 4 out, hard ridden 2 out, kept on well under pressure, won at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Feb beating Atouchbetweenacara (9-9) by 3l, 8 ran.
Becauseicouldntsee (IRE) 25-1 (11-6) Led, strongly pressed 2 out, ridden and headed before last, no chance with easy winner run-in, 2nd of 4, 4 1/2l behind Galileo's Choice (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m nov hdl in Feb.
Mostly Bob (IRE) 9-2fav (10-10) Held up, hit 2nd, not fluent 14th, went 6th after next, hit 5 out, 20 lengths off leader when mistake 4 out, stayed on well approaching 2 out, led before last, driven out, won at Cheltenham 3m 2f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Jan beating Mon Mome (11-12) by 4 1/2l, 13 ran.
Midnight Appeal 5-1 (11-5) In touch, joined leaders 15th, went 2nd 19th, led narrowly 3 out, drew 2 lengths clear last, stayed on well flat, won at Sandown 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Feb beating Martys Mission (9-12) by 5l, 13 ran.
Benbane Head (USA) 33-1 (11-8) Prominent, hit 3 out, soon ridden, weakened approaching 2 out, tailed off, 11th of 15, well behind Lovcen (11-7) at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Feb.
Start Me Up (IRE) 7-2 (11-3) Waited with, slight mistake 3rd, bad mistake 6 out, closed from 4 out, 4th before straight, got to the front under pressure run-in, headed near finish, 3rd of 7, 1l behind Lion Na Bearnai (11-3) at Navan 3m nov chs G2 (1) sft in Feb.
Your Busy (IRE) 25-1 (9-3) Waited with towards rear, closer in 8th into straight, no impression and kept on same pace under pressure without threatening from after 2 out, 4th of 12, 8l behind Hans Crescent (9-7) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-140 in Feb.
Adams Island (IRE) 7-1fav (10-7) Soon tracked leaders, closer in 3rd before straight, soon no impression under pressure, kept on same pace, 4th of 18, 14l behind On His Own (10-2) at Gowran Park 3m hcp chs sft in Jan.
The Hollinwell 5-2 (10-8) Tracked leader, led 9f out, ridden over 1f out, stayed on well, won at Southwell 2m n h flat (6) std in Feb beating Optimist (10-3) by 1 1/2l, 6 ran.
Summery Justice (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Mid-division, blundered 8th, headway and in touch 10th, blundered 12th, outpaced after 5 out, weakened 2 out, 4th of 10, 27l behind Cappa Bleu (11-11) at Haydock 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Nov.
Be There In Five (IRE) 33-1 (10-4) Behind, slow jump 4th, soon tailed off, pulled up before 5th, in a race won by Massini's Maguire (10-13) at Ascot 3m hcp chs Listed (1) gs in Feb, 12 ran.
Frontier Spirit (IRE) 22-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, jumped right 4th, ridden 4 out, one pace, went 3rd flat, no impression, 3rd of 8, 10l behind Brackloon High (10-8) at Leicester 2m 7f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Feb.
Brackloon High (IRE) 4-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders, mistake 10th, went 2nd 12th, challenging when bumped 4 out, led 2 out, joined on post, won at Leicester 2m 7f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Feb deadheating with Prince Of Pirates (11-4), 8 ran.
Slippers Percy (IRE) 40-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway 9th, lost place after 13th, weakened approaching 3 out, 9th of 13, 36l behind Painter Man (9-12) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Feb.
Fredo (IRE) 12-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, pushed along after 13th, tailed off before 5 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Giles Cross (10-5) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Feb, 14 ran.
Piraya (FR) 5-1 (11-8) Tracked leader, led 4th, headed approaching 3 out, stayed on same pace from next, 3rd of 8, 10l behind Lightning Strike (11-12) at Hereford 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Jan.
Time For Spring (IRE) 7-1 (11-8) In touch on inside, hit and lost place 12th, hit 14th, outpaced when mistake 19th, weakened 3 out, tailed off, 11th of 13, well behind Midnight Appeal (11-5) at Sandown 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Feb.
Sona Sasta (IRE) 8-1 (9-11) Tracked leaders, jumped right 4th, ridden and weakened before 3 out, 5th of 14, well behind Giles Cross (10-5) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Feb.
Gurtacrue (IRE) 5-2 (10-8) Held up in touch, not fluent 9th, 3rd when not fluent 16th, led approaching 3 out, pressed thereafter, hit last, driven out, won at Wincanton 3m 1f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Jan beating Minella Stars (10-8) by nk, 5 ran.
The Sawyer (BEL) 11-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, with leader 11th, ridden before 3 out, soon weakened, 8th of 10, 32l behind Dover's Hill (11-11) at Sandown 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd.