A very competitive handicap chase with the unexposed Ace High and Rangitoto coming up against some seasoned campaigners. The aforementioned pair could easily prove good enough while Le Beau Bai returns to the scene of his greatest triumph, in last year's Welsh National, though was last of the 11 finishers in this 12 months ago. Lost Glory has won three of his last four and deserves a crack at this higher level while Victors Serenade improved with experience last season, winning twice on soft ground at Ffos Las. Cootehill, Mostly Bob and Magical legend are all race-fit but we'll take a chance on GOLDEN CHIEFTAIN, who starts off the season on a very fair mark considering he's almost certain to improve on what he's shown so far over fences.
Ace High 11-1 (11-4) Made all, 6 lengths clear when mistake 5 out, blundered next, eased near finish, unchallenged, won at Chepstow 3m beg chs (4) gd in Oct '11 beating Duke Of Lucca (11-4) by 3 1/2l, 11 ran.
Arbor Supreme (IRE) 14-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, outpaced after 9th, weakening when mistake 3 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Ballyfoy (11-4) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in May, 13 ran.
Le Beau Bai (FR) 25-1 (10-11) Mid-division, ridden and weakened before 2 out, 15th of 18, well behind American Spin (10-13) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) sft in May.
Victors Serenade (IRE) 6-4fav (11-5) Held up towards rear, good headway 6th, joined leaders 8th, led 11th, jumped left from 5 out, clear before 4 out, very easily, won at Ffos Las 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Mar beating Politeo (11-5) by 11l, 9 ran.
Cootehill (IRE) 11-8fav (10-10) Chased leaders in 3rd, ridden 3 out, no impression, 3rd of 4, 32l behind Stage Acclaim (10-0) at Ffos Las 2m 3f hcp chs (2) hvy in Jun.
Lost Glory (NZ) 13-2 (11-12) Tracked leader, jumped left 4th, led 10th, headed next, led again 2 out, clear before last, easily, won at Stratford 2m 7f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Sep beating Ballybough Gorta (10-11) by 6l, 7 ran.
Rangitoto (IRE) 5-2 (11-1) Prominent, dropped rear and niggled along from 7th, jumped left next, 5th when fell 12th, in a race won by Made In Time (10-6) at Taunton 2m 7f nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Jan, 6 ran.
Mostly Bob (IRE) 9-1 (11-7) Led, jumped right 9th, not fluent 12th, ridden and headed 16th, 6 lengths down 2 out, stayed on as winner idled badly flat, every chance close home, just held, 2nd of 4, shd behind Minella Stars (10-11) at Newton Abbot 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Sep.
Golden Chieftain (IRE) 13-8 (11-12) Chased leaders, went 2nd at 6th, mistake 13th, not fluent next, soon lost place, rallied 4 out, weakened 2 out, 3rd of 4, 28l behind Mr Hudson (10-12) at Newton Abbot 3m 2f nov chs (3) gd in Mar.
Magical Legend 5-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, not fluent 4th, ridden 9th, ran on flat, 4th of 7, 16l behind Lost Glory (11-12) at Stratford 2m 7f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Sep.
Harouet (FR) 9-1 (10-6) Mid-division, hit 6th, struggling when jumped left 14th, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Emmaslegend (10-9) at Uttoxeter 3m 2f lstd hcp chs (1) gd in Jul, 15 ran.
Mohi Rahrere (IRE) 13-2 (10-8) Chased leaders, ridden and weakened before 3 out, tailed off, 9th of 11, well behind Emmaslegend (10-11) at Stratford 3m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Jun.