A number of these veterans were smart performers in their day. Burton Port was second in a Grade 1 at Aintree in 2012 while Tranquil Sea also won at the highest level in 2010, though has never scored outside his native Ireland. Big Fella Thanks has finished fourth in a Grand National and Time For Rupert was being touted as a Gold Cup prospect a couple of years ago while Fruity O'Rooney was just beaten in a Grade 3 at the Cheltenham Festival in the recent past and won off a higher mark at Fontwell last season. But McMurrough may be a few pounds too high at present and Aachen was raised 3lb after winning narrowly over 2m5f at Sandown and doubts remain about his stamina over this longer trip. SON OF FLICKA gets a tentative vote off what could prove a very lenient mark. He's not managed a win in seven starts over fences and his jumping can be a bit erratic at times but he won over hurdles at The Festival in 2012 and is 11lb lower now.
Massini's Maguire (IRE) 9-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, went 2nd 10th, led 4 out, ridden and joined last, stayed on grimly and held on gamely closing stages, won at Ascot 3m hcp chs Listed (1) gs in Feb '12 beating Tullamore Dew (10-4) by hd, 12 ran.
Burton Port (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Tracked leader until 2nd, in touch, reminders when not fluent 7th, mistake and lost place next, weakened and pulled up before last, in a race won by Return Spring (10-13) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) sft in Jan, 9 ran.
Big Fella Thanks 7-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, hit 2nd, headway approaching 12th, pushed along after 13th, weakened before 3 out, 6th of 7, 44l behind Bury Parade (11-6) at Ascot 2m 5f hcp chs (2) hvy in Jan.
McMurrough (IRE) 13-2 (11-8) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 4 out, driven and 3 lengths down in 2nd when blundered and unseated rider next, in a race won by No Planning (11-1) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-150 (2) hvy, 6 ran.
Time For Rupert (IRE) 9-1 (11-2) Held up mid-division, soon towards rear, ridden after 5 out, never dangerous, 8th of 15, 28l behind The Rainbow Hunter (10-9) at Doncaster 3m listed hcp chs (1) sft in Jan.
Tranquil Sea (IRE) 5-2 (11-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden after 2 out, soon weakened, 3rd of 4, 29l behind Tahiti Pearl (11-2) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) hvy in Jan.
Fruity O'Rooney 20-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders, close up when left in lead 16th, mistake 4 out, headed approaching 2 out, no extra last, 5th of 10, 18l behind Relax (11-1) at Sandown 3m hcp chs (2) hvy.
Aachen 6-4fav (10-8) Tracked leaders, reached for 2nd and pecked, mistake 11th, went 2nd after 3 out, led last, driven out, won at Sandown 2m 4f hcp chs 0-150 (2) hvy beating Tatenen (11-11) by 1l, 5 ran.
Son Of Flicka 11-2 (11-0) Tracked leader, not fluent, one pace from last, 2nd of 3, 1 1/2l behind Dungeel (11-0) at Catterick 3m 1f beg chase (4) sft in Jan.
Mr Syntax (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, headway approaching 13th, chasing leaders and hit 4 out, went 3rd soon after, kept on run in, no chance with winner, 3rd of 9, 8l behind Mart Lane (11-12) at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Dec.
Categorical 9-1 (11-6) Held up in touch, went 4th before 11th, weakened from 5 out, 5th of 12, 18l behind Ifyousayso (11-7) at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Jan.