The formerly classy chasers Legal Right and Foly Pleasant can fight this one out, with the vote going to the former now that he has proved himself capable of competing again at this level. The likes of Curly Spencer and Donnybrook already have something to find with the selection, so the game and consistent Torduff Express is forwarded as the best each-way alternative out of the rest. Paul Nicholl's charge has race fitness on his side as he bids to at least reverse last season's Aintree from with Gun 'N' Roses II. He can come out on top in that battle today. However, he would have plenty to find with our two main hopes for the race on the very best of their form and makes limited appeal for win only purposes. Foly Pleasant has already won a point-to-point this season and was far from disgraced when second to Silence Reigns at Bangor earlier in the month. A repeat of that effort will bring him into the thick of things this afternoon. He is expected to be the one to benefit if the selection fails to sparkle for any reason. However, it is worth bearing in mind that Legal Right had the likes of Bindaree and Kingsmark behind him when he won the Tommy Whittle Chase here in 2001 and could easily have gone on to be a Gold Cup contender had he not been such a fragile character. Therefore, now that he has the benefit of a race behind him, it would seem a little harsh to just assume Legal Right does not retain enough class to see him through at this level.
Bohemian Spirit (IRE) 3-1fav Held up towards rear, headway to chase leaders halfway, ridden and challenged 2 out, 3 lengths down when blundered and unseated rider last unseated rider at the last in race won by Red Rampage at Newcastle 3m hts chs (H) hvy, 9.
Chasing The Bride 5-2fav won at Cottenham 3m ptp gd in Jan beating Titus Bramble by 1l, 7 ran.
Curly Spencer (IRE) 14-1 Chased leaders, mistake 11th, ridden approaching 4 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 17, 20l behind Sleeping Night at Wetherby 3m 1f hts chs (H) gs.
Gun'n Roses II (FR) 11-2jt-fav Prominent, went 2nd 3 out, soon ridden, weakened last, 3rd of 25, 15l behind Forest Gunner at Aintree 2m 5f hts chs (B) gd in Apr.
The Butterwick Kid 7-2 Led, blundered 1st, left clear last, kept on well (disqualified for taking wrong course after 3rd), won at Newcastle 3m hts chs (H) hvy beating Red Rampage by 9l.
Torduff Express (IRE) 10-1 In touch, hampered 13th, ridden 5 out, weakened approaching 4 out, 5th of 16, 25l behind Take The Stand at Uttoxeter 4m hcp chs 0-140 (B) gf in Jun.
Legal Right (USA) 3-1 In touch, headway to chase leaders 5 out, chased winner 3 out, soon beaten, 2nd of 17, 17l behind Sleeping Night at Wetherby 3m 1f hts chs (H) gs.
Foly Pleasant (FR) 7-4fav Prominent, led 5 out, ridden approaching 2 out, headed approaching last, no extra, 2nd of 8, 5l behind Silence Reigns at Bangor 2m 4f hts chs (H) gs.