Seven of the eight runners finished in the frame last time with just Take Over Sivola, who blundered his way around Ffos Las on Boxing Day, losing out. He'd earlier won at Lingfield so shouldn't be dismissed but it's ARMEDANDDANGEROUS who is taken to complete a hat-trick. Tom Gretton's charge scored at Towcester in December and completed the double in emphatic style over this course and distance a month ago where he defied an error four out. He's been raised 10lb but still looks well treated and can confirm the form with runner-up Royal Mackintosh. Tipsy Dara is also on a hat-trick after victories at Carlisle and Ayr and she's now won five of her nine starts over fences. Lucy Alexander's claim is a bonus and along with Overyou, who is a real marathon performer and quite well treated, she makes this a tough race to call.
Armedanddangerous (IRE) 9-2 (11-9) Tracked leaders, went 2nd at the 6th, led before 5 out, not fluent 4 out, clear before last, won at Newcastle 3m hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy in Jan beating Royal Mackintosh (11-10) by 10l, 5 ran.
Take Over Sivola (FR) 6-4fav (9-13) Chased leaders, blundered 6th, pushed along next, hit 4 out, soon lost place, behind when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Frontier Spirit (11-12) at Ffos Las 2m 3f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec, 5 ran.
Tipsy Dara (IRE) 11-4 (10-12) Made virtually all, not fluent 5th, hit 12th, ridden after 3 out, driven out flat, won at Ayr 2m 5f cnd hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy in Jan beating The Magic Bishop (11-1) by 2 1/2l, 6 ran.
Quacity (FR) 3-1 (11-12) Tracked leader to 6th, led before 9th, headed before 5 out, plugged on from 4 out, no impression, lost 2nd place run-in, 3rd of 5, 13l behind Armedanddangerous (11-9) at Newcastle 3m hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy in Jan.
Royal Mackintosh 13-2 (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, headway before 10th, ridden before 4 out, soon went remote 3rd, plugged on to take 2nd run-in, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 10l behind Armedanddangerous (11-9) at Newcastle 3m hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy in Jan.
Overyou 4-1 (11-0) Close up, riddedn 16th, chased winner next, driven to join winner from 2 out until no extra towards finish, 2nd of 7, 2 1/4l behind Soudain (10-11) at Market Rasen 3m 5f hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Alexander Oats 9-4 (11-7) Led until 2nd, prominent, ridden 3 out, one pace from next, 3rd of 4, 10l behind Sergeant Pink (10-12) at Ayr 2m hcp ch 0-110 (4) hvy in Jan.
Beau Dandy (IRE) 3-1 (11-4) Led until before 2nd, ridden after 9th, stayed on same pace from 3 out, 3rd of 10, 5l behind Shadow Boxer (10-3) at Ayr 3m 1f hcp chs 0-100 (5) hvy in Jan.