There's a decent prize on offer in this and it's attracted a competitive field. Henry Hook may have needed the run when second at Huntingdon earlier this month while Merrion Square is an obvious candidate. The latter stepped up to 3m1f at Sandown last time but won with plenty in hand, though the opposition left a bit to be desired. Buck Mulligan may be too high in the weights at present and Urgence D'estruval also has plenty to do but a case can be made for NICEONEFRANKIE. Venetia Williams' seven-year-old is a consistent sort and likes soft ground - he wouldn't be winning out of turn. The Chazer may be the pick of the remainder as Cootehill, Ballywatt and Mon Chevalier have become disappointing.
Buck Mulligan 13-2 (11-4) Held up in rear, not always fluent, well behind after 15th, pulled up 2 out, in a race won by Ballyoliver (10-10) at Ludlow 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Feb, 9 ran.
Urgence D'estruval (FR) 6-1 (11-11) Held up in 4th, went 3rd at 5th, ridden and held before not fluent 3 out, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 7, 17l behind Nozic (10-10) at Kempton 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Feb.
Niceonefrankie 7-2 (11-4) Held up, not fluent 4th, headway 6th, mistake next, 4th and one pace before last, went 3rd flat, 3rd of 8, 7l behind Kilcrea Asla (9-12) at Chepstow 2m 3f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft.
The Chazer (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Mid-division, headway 14th, mistake 15th, no extra when mistake 3 out, 6th of 9, 41l behind Ballyoliver (10-10) at Ludlow 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Feb.
Merrion Square (IRE) 7-4fav (11-9) Took keen hold, held up in rear, blundered 1st, steady headway 13th, went 3rd 18th, chased leader soon after 4 out, led 3 out, pressed briefly next, 2 lengths ahead last, pushed along and kept on strongly flat, won at Sandown 3m am chs 0-130 (3) sft beating Tafika (11-7) by 6l, 10 ran.
Cootehill (IRE) 14-1 (11-2) Held up, pushed along 14th, headway after next, never on terms, no extra when hit 2 out, 5th of 9, 28l behind Ballyoliver (10-10) at Ludlow 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Feb.
Henry Hook (IRE) 9-2fav (11-5) Took keen hold, prominent, led 4th, ridden 2 out, edged right last, headed flat, held towards finish, 2nd of 12, 2 1/4l behind King Jack (10-13) at Huntingdon 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd.
Ballywatt (IRE) 6-1 (11-5) Raced wide in touch, slow jump 3rd (water), ridden in 4th approaching 2 out, stayed on same pace, 4th of 8, 8l behind Silver Roque (11-12) at Newbury 2m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs.
Mon Chevalier (IRE) 8-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, under pressure 4 out, weakened after next, modest 4th, 4th of 7, 33l behind Shangani (11-12) at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Feb.