ASTRACAD has plenty in hand on his three rivals on official figures and should land this with the minimum of fuss. He was no match for Edgardo Sol in a tough handicap at Aintree earlier this month but had also run well in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham previously and was second to Al Ferof in a Grade 2 at that track in November. That form is head and shoulders above anything achieved by the others. Gordon Elliott's Oscar Hill can chase him home, despite probably needing further, as Kai Broon was very disappointing when favourite at Ayr last Friday and veteran The Paddy Premium looks outclassed.
Astracad (FR) 8-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, hit 6th, ridden to chase leading pair 3 out, stayed on to go 10 lengths 2nd last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 13, 14l behind Edgardo Sol (11-0) at Aintree 2m hcp chs G3 (1) gs.
Kai Broon (IRE) 7-4fav (10-7) Held up in rear, headway to go in touch before 5th, chased winner before 4 out until before last, weakened and lost 3rd place towards finish, 4th of 5, 5l behind Tiptoeaway (11-0) at Ayr 2m nov ltd hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd.
Oscar Hill (IRE) 5-1 (10-13) Led, ran off bend and attempted to run out approaching halfway, headed and soon 3rd, ridden in 6th 3 out, no extra entering straight, 11th of 18, 26l behind Ghareer (10-1) at Gowran Park 2m 4f hcp hdl 8Evens30 in Mar.
The Paddy Premium (IRE) 16-1 (10-4) Chased winner until not fluent 3rd, weakened after 8th, last of 7, 27l behind Carrietau (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Nov.