Thedreamistillalive took advantage of his slide down the weights when winning at Folkestone last week but the veteran faces a tougher task under a penalty here. A tentative vote goes to TOP BENEFIT, third at Towcester last time and on a decent mark compared to the best of his past form. Musical Wedge should also go well with a recent pipe-opener under his belt but Brousse En Feux has reverted to type since scoring at Fontwell last month and the rest are even harder to fancy.
For The Staff (IRE) 7-2 (11-7) Mainly jumped well, led, headed 4 out, ridden and blundered 3 out, held soon after, no chance with easy winner, kept on for clear 2nd, 2nd of 6, 14l behind Desperate Dex (11-8) at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft.
Musical Wedge 20-1 (11-6) Chased leaders, bumped 8th, ridden in 4th 5 out, stayed on to 3rd approaching 3 out and not fluent, kept on same pace from next, 3rd of 10, 8l behind Royal Mile (9-13) at Chepstow 3m cnd hcp chs (0-95) (5) gs in Oct.
Top Benefit (IRE) 10-1 (11-0) Held up, stumbled 7th, blundered next, headway to 3rd before 2 out, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 7, 8l behind Samenerve (11-12) at Towcester 2m 3f hcp 0-100 (5) gs.
Brousse En Feux (FR) 3-1fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, led before 2 out, headed before last, soon weakened and pulled up, in a race won by Ibn Hiyyan (10-11) at Hexham 2m hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft, 6 ran.
Solitary Palm (IRE) 9-1 (11-2) Led until 4th, chased leaders, went 2nd bypassing omitted 5 out, ridden to challenge 4 out, soon every chance until driven 2 out and weakened soon after, 6th of 10, 30l behind Smokey George (11-11) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp 0-100 (5) gs.
Thedreamstillalive (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Made virtually all, not fluent 1st, hard pressed when 2 rivals fell 2 out, clear last, ridden out, won at Folkestone 2m 5f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd beating Tchang Goon (9-9) by 9l, 6 ran.
Wild Ground (IRE) 16-1 (10-4) In rear, headway 16th, chased leaders before 4 out, weakened soon after next, 8th of 12, 32l behind Sea Saffron (10-10) at Wincanton 3m 1f cnd hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Feb '11.