Last year's winner Arbeo appears out of sorts and Aachen weakened over 3m at Doncaster last time, but had won earlier over this track and trip and is only 3lb higher. Tempest River was biting off more than she could chew in a Class 2 last time but Ben Case's mare is respected in this grade and Ice 'N' Easy should be approaching peak fitness now. Veteran Overclear isn't out of this having gone close over 2m at Kempton while Hit The Headlines has joined Caroline Fryer from Gordon Elliott having finished second at Fairyhouse in January. DENALI HIGHWAY is a sound jumper, which is a major plus around here. He got stuck in the mud at Wincanton last time but is much better than that and should be thereabouts in a tricky finale.
Hit The Headlines (IRE) 7-4 (11-12) Tracked leaders, 3rd 4 out, pushed along and improved into 2nd after 3 out, ridden after 2 out, no impression on winner from last, 2nd of 7, 7l behind Grand Jesture (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f beg chase sft in Jan.
Midnight Sail 9-1 (11-10) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd before 8th, hit next, lost 2nd and outpaced before 3 out, no extra in 4th when went left 3 out, went left again and lost 4th 2 out, went left again last, 6th of 7, 33l behind Giorgio Quercus (11-7) at Kempton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Nov.
Flaming Gorge (IRE) 16-1 (11-11) Slight lead, headed 10th, chased winner until approaching 12th, weakened quickly soon after, tailed off, 8th of 10, well behind Present View (11-8) at Kempton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Feb.
Tempest River (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Always towards rear, outpaced 14th, no chance with leaders, 7th of 11, 35l behind Indian Castle (11-3) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov chs (2) hvy in Jan.
Aachen 4-1 (10-6) Tracked leaders in 3rd, went 4th 2 out, kept on before last, never dangerous, 6th of 10, 9l behind Tranquil Sea (10-12) at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-150 (2) gs in Feb.
Denali Highway (IRE) 7-2 (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, mistake 4th, reminder 12th, weakened before 3 out, 6th of 8, 43l behind Bennys Mist (11-9) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Ice 'n' Easy (IRE) 85-40 (10-8) Tracked leaders, outpaced before 4 out, ridden and weakened from next, 4th of 6, 41l behind No Planning (11-1) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-150 (2) hvy in Feb.
Ballyallia Man (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Chased leaders to halfway, soon weakened, tailed off when pulled up before 14th, in a race won by Count Guido Deiro (11-6) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Dec, 9 ran.
Overclear 12-1 (11-2) Held up off the pace in last pair, not fluent 4th, mistake next, not fluent 8th, stayed on to 4th well before 3 out, left 2nd 3 out, 2 lengths down last, closed all the way to the line, just held, 2nd of 7, nk behind Paddy The Stout (10-4) at Kempton 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Feb.
Arbeo (IRE) 12-1 (10-10) Chased leaders, went 3rd 9th, weakening when stumbled badly 14th, 6th of 8, 26l behind Triangular (10-11) at Kempton 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) hvy in Feb.