Christopher Wren has proved expensive to follow over fences while Pure Faith was well below form in three runs last term. Kings Grey usually finds at least one too good but has been competing in better company and can't be ignored. Montoya's Son has slipped to a fair mark but is another who struggles to get their head in front so the vote goes to CROSS OF HONOUR. He'll be all the better for his run in a jumpers' bumper on the Fibresand in March and is lightly raced over fences. He can build again on his win at Fakenham in December.
Kings Grey (IRE) 20-1 (10-11) Held up in mid-division, slightly hampered 6th, headway approaching 3 out, went 3rd after 2 out, switched right before last and soon pressing for 2nd, edged left, no extra and dropped to 4th towards finish, 4th of 17, 8l behind Oiseau de Nuit (11-8) at Aintree 2m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr.
Pure Faith (IRE) 66-1 (11-6) In touch, pushed along after 6th, soon lost place, tailed off, 14th of 21, well behind Buck Magic (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Nov.
Cross Of Honour (IRE) 4-1 (11-3) Held up mid-division in 5th, weakened from 4f out, 7th of 8, well behind Masterful Act (11-0) at Southwell 2m n h flat (4) std in Mar.
Montoya's Son (IRE) 50-1 (10-0) Led to 4th (water), remained in touch, ridden before 2 out, no impression before last, 8th of 29, 25l behind Triolo D'Alene (10-7) at Aintree 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Apr.
Christopher Wren (USA) 14-1 (10-5) Held up in rear, bad mistake 5th, headway 12th, hit 5 out, weakened after 2 out, 9th of 16, 45l behind Noble Legend (11-1) at Haydock 2m 6f hcp chs (2) gs in Mar.