Aegean Dawn missed the Imperial Cup for this and his defeat of Mille Chief at Ascot is the best form on offer but he's been raised an incredible 26lb which may just be enough to prevent a five-timer. Call The Police was beaten a couple of lengths by stablemate Final Approach over two miles at Leopardstown in January but stepped up on that with a smooth victory over 2m4f at Punchestown. All of his runs to date have been in testing conditions and this will be very different. For Non Stop has been attracting support for this since an excellent second to Grands Crus in a handicap over the C&D in November. He wasn't at his best behind Backspin in the Challow at Newbury and looks nicely weighted here. CARLITO BRIGANTE was beaten in a two-runner affair at Fairyhouse last time but ran well when fourth in last year's Triumph Hurdle. Gordon Elliott's charge has always looked as though this trip would suit despite a disappointing run in the Relkeel Hurdle and he gets the vote. The veteran Arcalis has been tackling top-flight company throughout his career and looks just the type to run well at a big price while Bothy ran a superb race in the totesport Trophy and will have been well prepared by Brian Ellison, who deserves some luck at The Festival.
Walkon (FR) 3-1fav (11-8) Mid-division, driven and outpaced approaching 3 out, soon weakened, behind when hampered next, 11th of 15, 28l behind Recession Proof (10-8) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Feb.
Solix (FR) 16-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, ridden approaching 2 out, kept on same pace, no impression approaching last, 7th of 15, 11l behind Recession Proof (10-8) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Feb.
Trenchant 15-2 (11-11) Held up in touch, tracked leaders 5th, ridden to challenge 3 out, chased winner next, kept on well under pressure, 2nd of 5, 6l behind Celestial Halo (11-7) at Fontwell 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) gs in Feb.
Aegean Dawn 4-11fav (9-9) Held up in touch, headway to join leaders going very well 3 out, shaken up to lead approaching last , pushed clear, comfortable, won at Ascot 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gs in Nov beating Mille Chief (11-3) by 4 1/2l, 13 ran.
Call The Police (IRE) 8-11fav (11-6) Tracked leaders, 4th halfway, headway travelling easily 2 out, close 2nd into straight, led last, driven clear, eased close home, very easily, won at Punchestown 2m 4f hdl hvy in Feb beating Heavenly Blues (11-2) by 6l, 10 ran.
Carlito Brigante (IRE) 2-1 (11-8) Led, challenged 2 out, soon ridden, headed before last, no extra run-in, kept on same pace, last of 2, 4l behind Alaivan (11-8) at Fairyhouse 2m 5yo hdl sft in Jan.
Arcalis 33-1 (11-0) Held up in mid-division to rear, ridden and struggling 3 out, stayed on to modest 5th close home, never any chance, 6th of 14, 32l behind Grands Crus (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m hdl G2 (1) gs in Jan.
Bothy 8-1 (10-7) Tracked leader, effort 3 out, ridden next, led narrowly last, kept on and every chance when headed flat, just held, 2nd of 15, shd behind Recession Proof (10-8) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Feb.
Battle Group 5-1 (11-8) Held up towards rear, headway to track leaders before 4 out, challenged on bit 3 out, led narrowly 2 out, headed after last, ridden last 100 yards, kept on to lead close home, won at Newcastle 2m 6f nov hdl (3) hvy in Feb beating Yurok (11-4) by shd, 7 ran.
Tiger O'Toole (IRE) 40-1 (10-5) Held up in rear, headway after 3 out, chasing leaders when left in 3rd 2 out, stayed on under pressure to lead close home all out, won at Ascot 2m 3f hcp hdl G2 (1) gs in Jan beating Walkon (11-10) by 1/2l, 14 ran.
Pistolet Noir (FR) 7-2 (10-5) Prominent, chased leader 3rd, ridden and still every chance 2 out, kept on under pressure flat, 4th of 7, 2 1/4l behind Ciceron (10-3) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) sft in Feb.
Orsippus (USA) 16-1 (11-6) Held up towards rear on inner, headway approaching
Straw Bear (USA) 5-1 (11-12) Mid-division, some headway 5 out, left remote 3rd next, never on terms, lost place and weakened after 2 out, 5th of 9, well behind Swing Bill (11-7) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Feb.
For Non Stop (IRE) 9-4fav (11-7) Raced in 4th, in lead after 4 out, joined 2 out, well held 4th as field came into view final 110 yards, 4th of 8, 12l behind Backspin (11-7) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Dec.
Ballyhaunis 3-1 (11-3) Settled behind leaders, headway in 3rd 2 out, ridden in 2nd and no impression before last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 2l behind Hidden Cyclone (11-6) at Leopardstown 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan.
Aachen 8-1 (11-5) Chased leaders, ridden approaching last, kept on into 3rd flat, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 16, 8l behind Arctic Magic (10-2) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (2) sft in Jan '10.
Busker Royal 7-1 (9-13) In touch in 5th, slightly hampered 6th, chased leading trio next, went 2nd 3 out, pressed winner next, driven before last, one pace and held when lost 2nd final 100 yards, 3rd of 11, 2 1/4l behind Act Of Kalanisi (10-0) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) sft in Feb.
Orzare (IRE) 8-11fav (11-8) Raced wide, tracked leader until before 2nd, settled 3rd,went 2nd again soon after 5th, led after 3 out, clear soon after 2 out, stayed on strongly, won at Plumpton 2m 4yo nov hdl (3) gs in Feb '10 beating Taste The Wine (10-12) by 19l, 7 ran.
Lord Ragnar (IRE) 6-5fav (10-12) Held up in touch, tracked leaders 9th, ridden to challenge after 3 out, soon hung left, hard ridden approaching last, no extra flat, 2nd of 5, 4l behind Massini Man (10-11) at Ffos Las 3m nov chs (3) gs in Feb.
Secret Dancer (IRE) 12-1 (10-13) Tended to jump right, behind, stayed on before last, kept on flat, nearest finish, 5th of 16, 14l behind Art Professor (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan.
Lightning Strike (GER) 16-1 (11-6) Chased leaders, went 2nd approaching 8th, weakened before 2 out, 7th of 13, 44l behind Skippers Brig (11-11) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
Mohanad (IRE) 20-1 (10-7) Held up towards rear, weakened approaching 4 out, 12th of 13, well behind Any Given Day (10-8) at Chepstow 2m 4f Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Oct.
Montan (FR) 5-4fav (11-5) Held up in touch, close 5th 3 out, went 3rd 2 out, soon ridden, disputed lead briefly at last, kept on well in close 2nd run-in, 2nd of 7, nk behind Prince Erik (11-5) at Naas 2m 4f nov chs sft.
Gift Of Dgab (IRE) 6-4fav (11-12) Always prominent, 3rd halfway, headway to lead 3 out, strongly pressed from next, briefly headed approaching last, led again early run-in and kept on best under pressure, won at Navan 2m mdn hdl hvy in Feb beating Popcorn (11-12) by 2l, 25 ran.
Points of View 100-1 (10-5) Ridden along 4th, always towards rear, tailed off, 22nd of 24, well behind Alarazi (10-3) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gd.
Dantari (IRE) 20-1 (10-1) Led, went well clear after 3rd, ridden and reduced advantage after 3 out, came stands side and headed 2 out, no extra flat, held on gamely for 3rd, 3rd of 20, 10l behind Kilcrea Kim (10-12) at Sandown 2m 6f hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Feb.
Song of Songs 40-1 (10-5) Towards rear, driven along in mid-division on inside after 3 out, soon beaten, tailed off, 17th of 24, 46l behind Alarazi (10-3) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gd.
County Zen (FR) 5-1fav (11-5) Tracked leader, mistake 5th, soon pushed along, weakened 3 out, 8th of 14, 43l behind Ocean Transit (10-8) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Feb.