Walter De La Mare is a consistent sort at this level and has every chance of adding to his sole victory over hurdles so far under the champ. But he has to give 12lb to POWERTAKEOFF, who was well backed to land a Fakenham seller last month and won in a hack canter having travelled strongly throughout. That was a poor race but this isn't much better. Poetic Power looks to have two ways of running but would have a chance if on a going day. The remainder, however, need to find improvement on recent form.
Drussell (IRE) 20-1 (11-3) Held up tracking leading trio, pushed along and outpaced on long run to 2 out, no chance after, 6th of 8, 30l behind Loyaute (11-10) at Kempton 2m cond hcp hdl 0-1115 (4) hvy in Feb.
Wordy's Boy 14-1 (11-9) Held up behind in touch, struggling 6th, tailed off 2 out, 7th of 8, well behind Persian Herald (11-5) at Southwell 2m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) hvy in Jan.
Walter De La Mare (IRE) 12-1 (11-8) Held up towards rear, headway before 2 out, soon went 3rd, kept on same pace, 3rd of 13, 5l behind Dorry K (10-6) at Warwick 2m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Feb.
Poetic Power (IRE) 11-4fav (10-8) Chased leaders, went 3rd after 4th, weakening when hit 2 out, (normal 3 out), 8th of 9, 25l behind White Diamond (11-2) at Fakenham 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gs in Dec.
Powertakeoff (IRE) 2-1fav (10-4) In touch in rear, good headway to join leader 3 out, led next, ridden out, won at Fakenham 2m (5) sft in Feb beating Slaney Star (11-11) by 3 1/2l, 7 ran.
Graylyn Amber 50-1 (11-5) Led, headed before 5th, weakened after 3 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by A Shade Of Bay (11-5) at Southwell 2m mdn hdl (5) hvy in Jan, 6 ran.