Bar De Ligne was well backed in a handicap over course and distance last month and duly obliged. A P McCoy is on board again and, though he's more exposed than a few of these, the eight-year-old should make his presence felt again. However, he was a long way behind Funny Star and Ericht at Doncaster earlier. The former has improved with experience and is on a hat-trick but only beat Ericht by half-a-length on Town Moor and the runner-up is 8lb better off now. TOP OF THE RANGE has always had the look of a chaser and confirmed that impression when making a winning start over the larger obstacles at Ascot in November. It's a bit of a surprise that Barry Geraghty has chosen his stablemate for this but the seven-year-old still gets the vote.
Bar De Ligne (FR) 11-4fav (10-12) Tracked leader, led 10th, kept on strongly from before 2 out, won at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Jan beating Drumlang (10-5) by 7l, 11 ran.
Funny Star 9-5 (11-5) Tracked leader until after 2nd, pushed along before 6th, led approaching 3 out, ridden when bad mistake 2 out, edged left approaching last, driven out, won at Taunton 2m (3) gd in Dec beating Cape Dutch (10-6) by 1 3/4l, 4 ran.
My Idea 22-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, went 2nd and effort 4 out, ridden before 2 out, kept on same pace, no impression with winner before last, 2nd of 5, 4l behind Yesyoucan (11-7) at Wetherby 2m 4f nov chs (4) sft in Jan.
Top Of The Range (IRE) 4-7fav (11-1) Tracked leader, overjumped 3rd, led next, headed after 6th, tracked leader, led again 4 out, pressed 2 out, ridden between last 2, kept on flat, won at Ascot 2m 3f beg chs (3) gs in Nov beating Titchwood (11-1) by 1 1/4l, 4 ran.
Witness In Court (IRE) 7-4 (11-0) Made all, clear from before 2 out, kept on strongly, won at Musselburgh 2m nov chs (4) sft in Jan beating Jet Master (11-0) by 8l, 4 ran.
Ericht (IRE) 7-2 (11-3) Held up in touch, mistake 8th, weakened before 5 out, moderate 5th, 5th of 7, well behind Loose Chips (11-3) at Kempton 2m 4f (3) sft in Dec.
Reaping The Reward (IRE) 5-2 (11-0) Tracked winner until before 4 out, soon beaten, 3rd of 4, 25l behind Witness In Court (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m nov chs (4) sft in Jan.