Green To Gold is on a hat-trick after wins at Worcester and Huntingdon last year. He's been waiting for the better ground and had a pipe-opener on the Flat last month. Course and distance winner Topthorn looks held by the top weight on the form book but it would be no surprise to see Monarch's Way bounce back from a poor run at Kempton over Christmas and a long absence doesn't entirely rule out Lucy's Perfect. SUBLIME TALENT has only been raised a couple of pounds since beating Jump City at Taunton and the runner-up has franked the form since. We'll take him to follow up here.
Green To Gold (IRE) 13-8fav (11-9) Held up in rear, slow 5th, headway into mid-division halfway, chased leaders 5 out, led and not fluent 2 out, mistake last, stayed on strongly, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Oct beating Sadler's Star (11-7) by 3l, 12 ran.
Monarch's Way 20-1 (11-5) Held up in last pair, struggling 11th, soon weakened, pulled up 3 out, in a race won by Rajdhani Express (11-6) at Kempton 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec, 8 ran.
Sublime Talent (IRE) 10-3 (10-10) Held up in 4th, not fluent 5th, headway to 3rd approaching 4 out, chased leader before 2 out, 2 lengths to find when went left last and rider unbalanced soon after, rallied to lead narrowly entering final 100 yards, just held on, won at Taunton 2m Novice Handicap Chase (0-140) (5yo+) (3) sft in Feb beating Jump City (11-12) by ns, 4 ran.
Lucy's Perfect 20-1 (11-9) Held up behind, headway to go 2nd 8th, hit 3 out, soon outpaced, lost 2nd next, ridden and kept on same pace flat, 3rd of 6, 3 1/2l behind Alpha Way (10-9) at Taunton 2m nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Jan '12.
Hoback Junction (IRE) 40-1 (11-5) Held up in rear, pushed along after 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 6th of 7, well behind Bellflower Boy (10-12) at Southwell 2m 4f clm hdl (5) hvy in Mar.
Finch Flyer (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, pushed along before 4f out, soon tailed off, last of 8, well behind Masterful Act (11-0) at Southwell 2m n h flat (4) std in Mar.
Topthorn 6-4fav (10-9) Led until 8th, every chance when blundered badly 4 out, not recover and soon well held by leaders, 4th of 6, 26l behind Drumshambo (11-10) at Ludlow 2m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Nov.