Teaforthree beat Alfie Spinner, Universal Soldier and Our Island in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last March in a race in which was Soll was brought down when prominent. The champ keeps faith with Rebecca Curtis' nine-year-old, who had Soll behind again when sixth in the Hennessy, and he seems certain to be thereabouts. Giles Cross has finished runner-up in this in the last two seasons and goes well fresh but may have a little too much weight this time around, while Master Overseer has a 4lb penalty for his gutsy win at Cheltenham and was pulled up in the race last year. David Pipe also runs recent course winner Sona Sasta, however, while Viking Blond should reverse Cheltenham running with Monbeg Dude and will be a threat as he's already shown he handles the heavy ground. ACROSS THE BAY has a huge weight to carry on the going but, apart from that, ticks a lot of the right boxes as he arrives in good form, stays really well and will handle conditions. He was trying to give 6lb to a Grade 2 chase winner at Aintree four weeks ago so that was a commendable effort and he is probably the class act in a sub-standard renewal.
Across The Bay (IRE) 15-8 (11-6) Jumped right on occasions, raced lazily and soon pushed along, given reminders at times from 5th, led, clear 8th until before 12th, not fluent 13th, headed before last, stayed on, 2nd of 4, 2 1/2l behind Wayward Prince (11-0) at Aintree 3m 1f Listed chs (1) sft in Dec.
Giles Cross (IRE) 20-1 (10-1) In touch, lost place when jumped slowly 9th (valentines), behind when pulled up before 11th, in a race won by Neptune Collonges (11-6) at Aintree 4m 4f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gd in Apr, 40 ran.
Teaforthree (IRE) 12-1 (10-6) In touch, outpaced 4 out, no impression from next, 6th of 19, 27l behind Bobs Worth (11-6) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Michel Le Bon (FR) 4-1fav (11-2) Mid-division, headway into 5th 16th, chased winner 4 out, jumped left next, 2 lengths down 2 out, unable to close gap after, 2nd of 12, 4l behind The Package (11-1) at Wincanton 3m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gs in Nov.
Soll 20-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, outpaced 4 out, soon lost place, 8th of 19, 33l behind Bobs Worth (11-6) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Universal Soldier (IRE) 3-1fav (11-10) With leaders, pushed along before 11th, ridden before 3 out, chased winner last, no impression, 2nd of 11, 6l behind Quartz De Thaix (11-12) at Haydock 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Nov.
Alfie Spinner (IRE) 25-1 (9-11) In touch when blundered and unseated rider 3rd, in a race won by Bobs Worth (11-6) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec, 19 ran.
Master Overseer (IRE) 11-1 (10-0) Made most, ridden after 3 out, headed narrowly between last 2, rallied to regain lead flat, held on gamely, won at Cheltenham 3m 1f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) hvy in Dec beating Quartz De Thaix (10-13) by 3/4l, 8 ran.
Viking Blond (FR) 8-1 (10-11) Led 2nd, headed 8th, chased leaderr, led again 10th, made most afte runtil headed 2 out, lost 2nd approaching last, stayed on same pace run-in, 3rd of 16, 2 3/4l behind Monbeg Dude (10-0) at Cheltenham 3m 3f hcp chs Grd 3 (1) sft in Nov.
Jadanli (IRE) 14-1 (11-8) Towards rear, closer in 7th 3 out, soon ridden, kept on one paced, 5th of 12, 34l behind Murchu (9-11) at Fairyhouse 3m 5f hcp chs 0-140 sft in Dec.
Mon Mome (FR) 40-1 (11-0) Tracked winner, pushed along 9th, lost place 3 out, soon ridden and behind, 6th of 7, 42l behind Coneygree (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl G2 (1) hvy in Dec.
Triggerman 25-1 (11-0) Towards rear on inside, pushed along before slightly hampered 12th, some headway 14th, outpaced 4 out, plugged on, never a threat, 6th of 14, 22l behind Swing Bill (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m am hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Nov.
Monbeg Dude (IRE) 25-1 (10-0) Not fluent in rear, mistake 1st, blundered 15th and 17th, headway next, stayed on to chase leaders approaching 3 out, went 2nd approaching last, driven to lead narrowly run-in, stayed on well and on top close home, won at Cheltenham 3m 3f hcp chs Grd 3 (1) sft in Nov beating Bradley (10-12) by nk, 16 ran.
Harouet (FR) 9-1 (11-6) In touch, ridden and outpaced 13th, blundered 5 out, struggling after 3 out, 7th of 8, 21l behind Mortimers Cross (10-10) at Kelso 4m hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Dec.
Sona Sasta (IRE) 7-2 (9-11) Tracked leaders, effort to lead before 4 out, ridden between last 2, kept on under presure flat, won at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy in Dec beating My Boy Paddy (9-11) by 1 1/2l, 7 ran.
Our Island (IRE) 5-1fav (11-12) In touch, took closer order 9th, joined leader 13th, mistake 5 out, led 4 out, headed 2 out, kept on under pressure, 3rd of 10, 7l behind Arbor Supreme (10-4) at Exeter 4m hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Dec.
Incentivise (IRE) 4-1 (10-5) Tracked leaders, mistake 11th, soon pushed along, weakening when hit 3 out, 5th of 6, 29l behind Benheir (11-0) at Ffos Las 3m 1f hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Dec.
Arbor Supreme (IRE) 16-1 (10-4) Held up towards rear, headway 5 out, soon chasing leaders, led 2 out, hard ridden, all out, won at Exeter 4m hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Dec beating Desperate Dex (10-11) by 3 1/2l, 10 ran.