Up To The Mark is only a couple of pounds higher than when last successful but that was over 2m4f. He's not won in 13 previous tries over this trip. Christopher Wren has been a huge disappointment but Coolbeg must have a chance having come back to form at Leicester while Greywell Boy won at Uttoxeter last month and still has a bit of scope over the larger obstacles. OLYMPIAN BOY handled these tricky fences with aplomb when successful over course and distance last month, however, and is taken to follow up despite a 9lb higher mark with Calculaite in the veteran stage and Free World struggling to finish his races nowadays.
Free World (FR) 16-1 (11-12) Took keen hold, held up in last trio, blundered 4th, driven before 7th, soon weakened, well behind when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Olympian Boy (10-4) at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Feb, 9 ran.
Greywell Boy 11-4 (11-2) Led, ridden when mistake 2 out, soon headed, led again flat, stayed on, won at Uttoxeter 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Feb beating Starsky Des Mottes (10-10) by 1 1/4l, 7 ran.
Olympian Boy (IRE) 7-1 (10-4) Held up well in rear, steady headway, travelling well before 3 out, chased leaders on inside before next, went 2nd before last, quickened to lead flat, readily, won at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Feb beating Sunny Ledgend (11-0) by 1 3/4l, 9 ran.
Calculaite 25-1 (11-7) Held up in touch, chased leaders under pressure on inside 4 out, ridden next, stayed on to go 2nd flat, no impression, 2nd of 9, 4 1/2l behind Tempting Paradise (10-10) at Uttoxeter 2m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in May.
Up To The Mark 8-1 (11-2) Prominent on outside, driven to chase leading pair before 4 out, soon one pace, ridden and stayed on to take 2nd towards finish, no impression with winner, 2nd of 7, 5l behind Drumshambo (11-12) at Ludlow 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Christopher Wren (USA) 7-1 (10-11) Headway to chase leaders 2nd, not fluent and slightly hampered by loose horse 3rd, went 2nd 4th until next, chased leaders, ridden before 3 out where mistake, soon beaten, blundered 2 out, 6th of 9, 34l behind Olympian Boy (10-4) at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Feb.
Coolbeg (IRE) 7-1 (11-9) Held up, took keen hold early, headway on inside 8th, challenged last, held towards finish, 2nd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Milgen Bay (11-12) at Leicester 2m hcp ch 0-110 (4) gs in Feb.