Giles Cross beat subsequent Grand National hero Neptunes Collonges in this race last year. He's failed to complete in a couple of starts since while Silver By Nature hasn't raced since finishing tailed off in the 2011 Grand National having won this event in the same year and 2010. Teaforthree is prominent in the betting for this year's big one at Aintree but was just held by today's rival Monbeg Dude in a tight finish for the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow last month with Triggerman back in third. The former pair are hard to separate as are Well Refreshed and Rigadin de Beauchene on December's running at Lingfield and both have won since then. Neptune Equester returned to action with a victory at Wetherby but has a bit to prove at this level and CANNINGTON BROOK is handed the vote as he won on this card last year and went close on his latest start over today's trip at Ffos Las a fortnight ago.
Silver By Nature 9-1 (10-12) Mid-division, outpaced 21st (foinavon), never near leaders, 12th of 40, well behind Ballabriggs (11-0) at Aintree 4m 4f hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr '11.
Teaforthree (IRE) 11-4fav (11-3) Always prominent, led before 3 out, headed last, stayed on, held close home, 2nd of 17, 1/2l behind Monbeg Dude (10-1) at Chepstow 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Jan.
Cannington Brook (IRE) 5-1 (11-2) Mid-division off the pace, mistake 2nd, went 3rd 13th, chased winner before 4 out, no impression 2 out, stayed on to close from last, held near finish, 2nd of 12, 2 1/4l behind Carruthers (10-8) at Ffos Las 3m 4f hcp chs (2) hvy.
Giles Cross (IRE) 16-1 (11-3) Led, headed approaching 4 out, pulled up quickly before next, in a race won by Monbeg Dude (10-1) at Chepstow 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Jan, 17 ran.
Monbeg Dude (IRE) 10-1 (10-1) Held up in rear, mistakes 3rd, 4th and 5th, progess travelling well and 11 lengths off leaders 5 out, hit 4 out, left 3rd before next, coaxed into lead when mistake last, edged left and driven flat, held on, won at Chepstow 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Jan beating Teaforthree (11-3) by 1/2l, 17 ran.
Lackamon 25-1 (10-7) Tracked leader, lost place after 6th, tailed off 4 out, 10th of 16, 40l behind Trustan Times (11-12) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Nov.
Neptune Equester 8-1 (11-7) Made all, challenged last, all out flat, won at Wetherby 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec beating My Arch (11-10) by 1 1/4l, 6 ran.
Viking Blond (FR) 7-1 (9-12) Tracked leader, prominent, led 10th, headed 12th, ridden to lead after 4 out, soon headed, outpaced next, stayed on well closing stages, no chance with winner, 2nd of 7, 8l behind On Trend (9-12) at Sandown 3m hcp chs (2) hvy.
Rigadin De Beauchene (FR) 5-1 (10-3) Tracked leaders, hampered 5th, closed 14th, outpaced 2 out, not fluent last, rallied flat, led close home, won at Warwick 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Jan beating Godsmejudge (10-12) by 1/2l, 13 ran.
Well Refreshed 6-1 (11-1) Towards rear, headway before 4 out, ridden to lead before 2 out, clear when mistake last, kept on strongly, won at Plumpton 3m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Jan beating Pettifour (11-10) by 28l, 12 ran.
Lively Baron (IRE) 15-2 (11-7) Held up behind, headway after 15th, chased leaders after 4 out, well held in 3rd and weakening went not fluent 2 out, 8th of 14, 25l behind Chac Du Cadran (10-7) at Catterick 3m 6f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Jan.
Trigger The Light 25-1 (11-4) Held up mid-division, chased leaders 6 out, led before and not fluent 2 out, ridden and headed before last, no extra run-in, 3rd of 15, 2 1/4l behind Monsieur Cadou (10-0) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Nov.
Triggerman 50-1 (10-3) Held up towards rear, steady headway from 7th, not fluent 11th, challenged before 5 out, led approaching next, headed before 3 out, no extra flat, 3rd of 17, 12l behind Monbeg Dude (10-1) at Chepstow 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) hvy in Jan.
Mac Aeda 6-1 (10-11) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, chased leaders next, weakened after last, 3rd of 10, 14l behind Cannington Brook (11-12) at Haydock 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy in Dec.