Venetia Williams normally aims one at this and has three entered this year. The pick of the trio looks to be QUARTZ DE THAIX, who has really come into his own since tackling fences. The Ragmar gelding won on his debut over the larger obstacles at Hereford and routed a decent field of novices at Newton Abbot 10 days ago. This is an obvious step up in class and he has a 5lb penalty to carry but the seven-year-old is still on a 5lb lower mark than when scoring over hurdles at Aintree in November and will probably never be as well handicapped again. Hollo Ladies is another novice with decent claims and may appreciate the drop in distance having tired quickly over 3m1f at Wetherby last time. Gansey returned to form at Newcastle last month but was a long way behind Crescent Island at Wetherby previously. Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge was far from disgraced when fifth in the Racing Post Chase at Kempton subsequently and may be the best of those at the head of the weights. Aigle D'Or doesn't stand much racing but beat Matuhi over a shorter trip at Newbury in November while Beautiful Sound has won at Punchestown and Fairyhouse this season and still has the scope for further improvement.
Tatenen (FR) 16-1 (11-6) Held up in rear, raced wide of pack, headway 12th, chased leaders 4 out, blundered 2 out, soon weakened, 7th of 16, well behind Quinz (11-0) at Kempton 3m hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Feb.
Consigliere (FR) 8-1 (11-12) Mid-division, ridden and blundered 4 out, no danger after, 6th of 11, 29l behind Chance Du Roy (10-9) at Chepstow 2m 3f hcp chs (2) sft in Jan.
Crescent Island (IRE) 25-1 (10-10) Behind, mistake 1st, headway under pressure 4 out, hard driven next, kept on under pressure, never on terms, 5th of 16, 48l behind Quinz (11-0) at Kempton 3m hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Feb.
Edgbriar (FR) 10-1 (11-10) Tracked leader until after 5th, outpaced 4 out, rallied 3 out, went 3rd last, stayed on, 3rd of 13, 4l behind Anquetta (10-3) at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Feb.
Hollo Ladies (IRE) 5-1 (11-0) Held up in rear but in touch, not fluent 3rd, not fluent 13th, chased leaders approaching 4 out, ridden to chase leading pair before 3 out, weakened before last, last of 5, 31l behind Wayward Prince (11-7) at Wetherby 3m 1f nov chs G2 (1) gs in Feb.
Piraya (FR) 20-1 (10-10) Mid-division, weakened 13th, pulled up 4 out, in a race won by Quinz (11-0) at Kempton 3m hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Feb, 16 ran.
Aigle D'or 13-2 (11-3) Raced on inner, held up towards rear, headway 6th, went 2nd 8th, challenged and hit 4 out, led soon after next, driven and in command when hit last, stayed on well flat, won at Newbury 2m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Nov beating Matuhi (11-5) by 3 1/2l, 10 ran.
You're The Top (FR) 11-4fav (11-3) Held up mid-division, headway when jumped right 9th, chased leaders 4 out, never on terms, 5th of 10, 19l behind Safari Journey (10-8) at Ascot 2m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gd in Oct.
Quartz de Thaix (FR) 3-1 (11-4) Shared 2nd, jumped slowly 6th and 11th, led approaching 3 out, drew clear next, won at Newton Abbot 2m 5f nov chs (3) gs beating Ace High (10-12) by 18l, 4 ran.
Matuhi 17-2 (10-7) Chased leaders, led 3rd, ridden and headed 2 out, chased winner but held when mistake and lost 2nd last, weakened flat, 6th of 15, 4 1/2l behind Fine Parchment (10-4) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) gs.
Gansey (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Held up in touch in 4th, went 3rd before 4 out, led before 2 out, ridden before last, stayed on well flat, driven out, won at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Feb beating Categorical (11-0) by 1 3/4l, 7 ran.
Call Me A Legend 7-2fav (11-4) Mid-division, lost place when went left and jumped slowly 3rd, in rear after, jumped left and behind 9th, 9th of 13, 39l behind Anquetta (10-3) at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in Feb.
Holmwood Legend 14-1 (11-5) Led unti after 3rd, chased leader, led 8th until 10th, hit 12th, led 13th, ridden and stayed on well from 2 out, in command before last, driven out, won at Sandown 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd beating Peplum (11-7) by 5l, 8 ran.
Peplum (FR) 5-2fav (11-7) Chased leaders, ridden and chased winner before last, edged right and not quicken flat, 2nd of 8, 5l behind Holmwood Legend (11-5) at Sandown 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd.
Just Smudge 8-1 (11-6) Mid-division 3rd, chasing leaders when hit 14th, soon ridden, every chance 4 out, 4th and beaten when blundered and unseated rider 2 out, in a race won by Isn't That Lucky (11-1) at Ludlow 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd, 9 ran.
Aimigayle 8-1 (10-9) Led before 2nd until 12th, led 13th until next, led again 16th until 4 out, weakened 3 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Eric's Charm (10-11) at Sandown 3m hcp chs (2) gd in Feb, 11 ran.
Plein Pouvoir (FR) 14-1 (10-4) Mid-division, ridden and weakened after 11th, tailed off, 9th of 15, 29l behind Fine Parchment (10-4) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) gs.
Beautiful Sound (IRE) 5-2fav (11-12) Chased leaders, 5th halfway, improved in 2nd 4 out, led 3 out, ridden before last, kept on under pressure run-in, won at Fairyhouse 3m 1f hcp chs 0-116 hvy in Jan beating Not Before Eight (10-10) by 1 1/2l, 15 ran.
Storymaker 12-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, reminder after 7th, slightly hampered 10th, headway 4 out, chased winner after 3 out until approaching last, weakened flat, 6th of 9, 15l behind Pret A Thou (11-3) at Catterick 2m 3f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Feb.
Bible Lord (IRE) 4-1fav (11-7) Pressed leader, led 11th, headed 13th, led 4 out, bumped after 3 out, headed last stride, 2nd of 10, hd behind Peplum (11-8) at Ludlow 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Feb.
I'm A Legend 4-1 (11-5) Mid-division on inside, chased leaders and reminders 11th, ridden after 5 out, weakened from 3 out, 4th of 9, 26l behind Aerial (11-11) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Feb.