Minella Tipperary has leading claims and can gain another win, with Beare Necessities, Isle de Maurice, Junkanoo and Maharbal just a few with place claims. Take Minella Tipperary out of the equation and this really does take on an open look, but the Hobbs inmate is very much the form horse here and should pay to follow. Successful twice between the flags in Ireland, he has won three of his five starts since moving to Minehead, and with stamina guaranteed, a 7lb rise is hardly likely to stop his bid for more glory. Beare Necessities finished third in a class 2 event at Cheltenham last time, and this slight drop in grade gives him claims of a sort, while hat-trick seeking Isle de Maurice is learning quickly since switching from the Flat and cannot be ruled out of contention either. Junkanoo is getting a bit long in the tooth now but is consistent and hails from an in-form stable, so has to be respected along with Tony McCoy's mount Double Dizzy who is not badly weighted. Nicky Henderson is double-handed with Maharbal and Liberthine, with the latter continuing her Grand National preparation. Her rider Sam Waley Cohen needs one more winner to be certain of participating at Aintree so he will be trying his heart out here that is for sure. Fellow Grand National entry Lord Of Illusion also turns out here off a feather-weight, but he is best watched on his belated return to the fray. All in all, it is Minella Tipperary that has the best claims of all.
Big Moment 50-1 (11-1) Always behind, mistake and struggling 6th, tailed off, 12th of 17, well behind Verasi (10-4) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) sft in Jan.
Liberthine (FR) 10-1 (10-4) In touch, headway to challenge 3 out, stayed on same pace from next, 4th of 15, 8l behind D'Argent (10-5) at Cheltenham 3m 1f lst hcp chs (1) sft in Dec.
Quick 25-1 (9-13) Led until 6th, soon driven along, weakened after 3 out, 11th of 16, 39l behind Material World (10-5) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) sft in Dec.
Maharbal (FR) 9-2 (11-8) In touch, ridden and weakened, tailed off, 12th of 13, well behind Ashley Brook (11-6) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) hvy in Jan.
Itsmyboy (IRE) 5-2 (11-10) Held up in touch, pushed along 7th, ridden and outpaced from 3 out, 5th of 7, 18l behind Haggle Twins (11-0) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Jan.
Copsale Lad 6-1 (11-2) In touch, badly hampered 3rd, lost confidence and never going after, behind and pulled up at the 11th in race won by Billyvoddan (10-12) at Ascot 3m lst hcp chs (1) gs in Dec, 18 ran.
Junkanoo 11-2 (10-4) Held up, headway approaching 3 out, chased winner after last, stayed on, 2nd of 5, 1l behind Overserved (10-4) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy in Jan.
Special Rate (IRE) 16-1 (10-4) Held up towards rear, ridden 3 out, weakened approaching 2 out, 5th of 9, 22l behind Lord Sam (11-7) at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl (2) gs in Dec.
Gidam Gidam (IRE) 25-1 (11-6) Chased leaders, ridden after 3 out, kept on same pace, 5th of 17, 9l behind Mikado (11-8) at Ascot 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gd in Dec.
Noble Baron 20-1 (10-10) Held up, hampered 2nd and 3rd, behind when pulled up 3 out in race won by Wizard of Edge (10-11) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs, 12 ran.
Double Dizzy 11-4 (10-11) Tracked winner, led 10th, ridden and headed 2 out, one pace when hit last, 2nd of 7, 4l behind Duncliffe (10-9) at Ascot 3m nov hdl (3) sft in Nov.
Minella Tipperary (IRE) 4-1fav (11-6) Chased leaders, led approaching 2 out, stayed on well, ridden out, won at Ascot 3m nov hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Dec beating Lothian Falcon (11-4) by 3/4l, 14 ran.
Beare Necessities (IRE) 11-4fav (10-1) Held up in rear, making headway when blundered 3 out, driven and staye on under pressure flat, not pace of leading pair, 3rd of 10, 2 1/2l behind Just Beth (10-9) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Jan.
Isle de Maurice 15-8 (10-1) Held up, headway 8th, ridden 2 out, switched last, soon led, driven out, won at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Jan beating Swift Sailor (10-7) by 3 1/2l, 7 ran.
Mister Sher (IRE) 80-1 (10-3) Held up in touch, weakened 6th, soon lost touch, 8th of 11, 31l behind Dark Corner (10-3) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Lord of Illusion (IRE) 33-1 (10-11) Prominent until ridden and weakened quickly 16th, behind when pulled up at the 17th in race won by Numbersixvalverde (10-8) at Aintree 4m 4f hcp chs Grd 3 (1) gs in Apr, 40 ran.
Killone Moonlight (IRE) 28-1 (11-3) Held up in touch, lost place 6th, tailed off 3 out, 7th of 8, well behind Theatre Diva (11-7) at Ludlow 2m 5f mrs hcp hdl (4) gd in Jan.