The step up in distance at Doncaster clearly suited Rocky Creek but he may lack the experience for a contest like this. Brindisi Breeze was hugely impressive when making all in a Grade 2 at Haydock last time and that form has already been franked. However, it appears that soft ground is the key to Lucinda Russell's gelding and he won't get that here. Two of Fox Appeal's three wins have come in handicaps but there could be more to come from Benheir over this longer trip. The Irish won't hear of defeat for BOSTON BOB, however, and Willie Mullins' seven-year-old can extend his unbeaten record over hurdles with victory here. He may not have beaten much at Leopardstown last time but was carrying a Grade 1 penalty that day incurred for a more impressive defeat of Mount Benbulben and Ipsos Du Berlais at Navan in December. He's already won over 3m between the flags. Hard To Swallow is still a maiden but has some fair form to his name and is another who should be suited by the step up in trip - he could run well at big odds.
American Spin 14-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, mistake 5th, outpaced 2 out, soon ridden, left 4th last, stayed on to go 3rd towards finish, no impression with leading pair, 3rd of 6, 7l behind Deireadh Re (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Dec.
Benheir (IRE) 5-2fav (11-8) Led until jumoed slowly and headed 2nd, chased leaders, led again on inside after 4 out, jumped slowly and narrowly headed 3 out, soon edging left, stayed challenging, narrowly headed 2 out, stayed on same pace from last, 2nd of 12, 3/4l behind Makethe Mostofnow (11-8) at Ffos Las 2m 4f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) sft in Feb.
Big Occasion (IRE) 5-1 (11-10) Made all, clear before last, pushed out, stayed on strongly, won at Carlisle 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Feb beating Tiger Maguire (11-3) by 6l, 12 ran.
Boston Bob (IRE) 9-4fav (11-10) Settled in rear of mid-division, some headway approaching 2 out, ridden to go 3rd early straight, good progress to lead last, driven out and kept on well run-in, won at Leopardstown 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan beating Lyreen Legend (11-0) by 2 1/4l, 11 ran.
Brindisi Breeze (IRE) 9-2fav (11-8) Made all, blundered 3 out, soon drew clear, ran on strongly, won at Haydock 3m nov hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb beating Harry Topper (11-8) by 12l, 9 ran.
Dawn Commander (GER) 2-1fav (11-10) Tracked leaders on inside, ridden after 3 out, closed next, soon went 2nd, challenged towards finish, held close home, 2nd of 17, 1/2l behind Golden Call (11-4) at Bangor 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Feb.
Fill The Power (IRE) 6-1 (11-8) Led, headed before 4th, chased leaders in 4th, not fluent 6th, reminders and towards rear after 7th, stayed on from 2 out, went 4th towards finish, 4th of 9, 15l behind Dark Glacier (11-4) at Newcastle 2m 6f nov hdl (3) gs in Feb.
Fox Appeal (IRE) 5-1 (11-5) Raced keenly, held up in last pair in touch, mistake 3rd, headway 9th, joined leaders when blundered 3 out, led when mistake next, hung right between last 2, went right last, ridden and kept on flat, just held on, won at Taunton 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Jan beating Lord Crewe (10-8) by nk, 8 ran.
Grand Vision (IRE) 5-1 (10-3) Mid-division, headway before 4 out, led before 3 out, clear from 2 out, kept on well, won at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb beating Sa Suffit (10-13) by 7l, 19 ran.
Hard To Swallow (IRE) 5-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, led well over 1f out, soon edged left, headed inside final furlong, not pace of winner, 2nd of 14, 1 3/4l behind Tetlami (11-0) at Kempton 2m n h flat (6) gd in Feb.
Ipsos Du Berlais (FR) 9-4 (11-6) Rear and in touch, pushed along to close and went 3rd 3 out, challenged between horses entering straight and led before last, driven out to assert run-in, won at Punchestown 2m 4f hdl in Jan beating Western Leader (11-3) by 7l, 6 ran.
Lovcen (GER) 11-4fav (11-7) Held up in touch, closed 3 out, soon led, in command last, stayed on well, won at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Feb beating Volador (10-9) by 6l, 15 ran.
Meister Eckhart (IRE) 11-1 (11-8) Tracked leaders, ridden and one pace from 2 out, 3rd of 9, 14l behind Brindisi Breeze (11-8) at Haydock 3m nov hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Mount Benbulben (IRE) 5-6fav (11-10) Attempted to make all, jumped right throughout and badly right at 6th and 5 out, ridden after 3 out, soon strongly pressed, headed and egded right after 2 out, no impression on winner from last, 2nd of 4, 4 1/2l behind Boston Bob (11-10) at Navan 2m 4f nov hdl G1 (1) hvy in Dec.
Rocky Creek (IRE) 5-2fav (11-6) Tracked leaders, led before 3 out, soon hard pressed, driven clear last, ran on well, won at Doncaster 3m nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Jan beating Gullinbursti (11-10) by 4l, 6 ran.
Sea Of Thunder (IRE) 9-1 (11-3) Rear of mid-division, some headway 2 out, moderate 6th approaching last, kept on one pace, 5th of 11, 15l behind Boston Bob (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan.
Sivola De Sivola (FR) 12-1 (10-13) Mid-division on outside, outpaced before 2 out, soon behind, headway under pressure on inside approaching last, rallied flat, never reached leaders, 4th of 14, 5l behind Module (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan.
The Bosses Cousin (IRE) 5-4fav (11-12) Made virtually all, bad mistake 2nd, travelling well entering straight, ridden and kept on well from last, comfortably, won at Fairyhouse 2m mdn hdl hvy in Feb beating Shannon Spirit (11-12) by 2 1/4l, 18 ran.
The Druids Nephew (IRE) 9-1 (11-2) Held up towards rear, headway into mid-division 5th, close up 3 out, outpaced before next, ridden and stayed on to chase leader when left in lead last, held on flat, won at Kempton 2m 5f nh nov hdl (3) gd in Jan beating No Substitute (11-2) by 1 1/4l, 10 ran.
Tour Des Champs (FR) 13-2 (10-10) In touch, weakened before 4 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Grand Vision (10-3) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb, 19 ran.