Silviniaco Conti has been all the rage in the ante-post market for this, with punters believing he can build on his victory in a Grade 2 novice chase at Aintree in April which finally dispelled doubts about his stamina. Time For Rupert was runner-up to Weird Al in this 12 months ago and should be thereabouts again but Master Of The Hall probably has a bit to find at the weights and has been a little erratic over fences so far while wayward Prince lost his way last season. Midnight Chase is a reliable sort, however, and no mug as he proved when beating Tidal Bay at Cheltenham in January. His only subsequent run came in the Gold Cup. PLANET OF SOUND began last season with a second in the Hennessy so obviously goes well fresh. He's a Grade 1 winner over fences so is well treated here at the weights and should take all the beating.
Master Of The Hall (IRE) 20-1 (11-7) Held up behind in touch, chased leaders after 4 out, ridden next, kept on same pace, no impression, 6th of 11, 13l behind Follow The Plan (11-7) at Aintree 3m 1f Grade 1 chs (1) gs in Apr.
Midnight Chase 12-1 (11-10) Led, mistake and headed 18th, lost place when hit next, weakened 3 out, 7th of 14, 31l behind Synchronised (11-10) at Cheltenham 3m 2f chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Time For Rupert (IRE) 33-1 (11-10) Always prominent, tracked leader 9th, led 18th, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, kept on until no extra from last, 5th of 14, 10l behind Synchronised (11-10) at Cheltenham 3m 2f chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Silviniaco Conti (FR) 7-4fav (11-4) In rear, smooth headway before 13th, went 2nd after 5 out, led after 4 out, shaken up to draw clear before last, kept on strongly, won at Aintree 3m 1f nov chs G2 (1) gd in Apr beating Champion Court (11-4) by 13l, 5 ran.
Planet of Sound 33-1 (11-5) In touch, joined leader 10th, led 12th, headed 23rd (canal turn), led again next (valentines), headed narrowly when blundered 4 out, lost place 2 out, soon weakened, 12th of 40, well behind Neptune Collonges (11-6) at Aintree 4m 4f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gd in Apr.
Wayward Prince 20-1 (11-11) Tracked leader, hit 5th, weakened before 8th, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Grand Vision (10-3) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Feb, 19 ran.