Pedrobob gets a most tentative vote in a hard race to unravel, with Acambo, Mister Hight, Tarlac and Papini just a few more in with a shout. All the talk this week has been of the big gamble on Acambo who will by all accounts cost the bookies' millions if he obliges, but history is against him as he bids to defy the welter burden of 11st 12lb. No horse has carried that much weight to victory in this race in the last 30 years, indeed Rooster Booster was just touched carrying the same weight in 2004. David Pipe's father Martin has sent out no less than five topweights here over the years and they have all met with defeat, although both Make A Stand and Copeland have carried the biggest weight to victory in this race in the past 10 years. If Acambo is to be considered a true Champion Hurdle contender he has to win here according to his trainer, but we feel that he will be disappointed and instead look to one of the six Irish raiders in the shape of Pedrobob. He sauntered home under Ruby Walsh at Leopardstown in December, and this will be the first time that he has carried less than 11st. Reckoned useful by connections, he is taken to land this big prize before eventually going chasing. Mister Hight has the right credentials, having finished second in the Pierce Hurdle, a race that is always a good pointer to today's contest, and with ground conditions to suit, he will be out to make up for last season's disappointing effort in the Triumph Hurdle. Nicky Henderson has captured four of the last eight runnings of the Totesport Trophy, and Tarlac looks the best of his trio, although Papini has done little wrong. Lack of time and space forbids a mention of any more, suffice to say that the market will be a big guide. For the winner we return to Pedrobob to foil the massive punt on Acambo.
Acambo (GER) 7-1 (11-9) Held up mid-division, headway 6th, led after 3 out, ridden 2 out, blundered last, ridden out, won at Ascot 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gs in Dec beating Tarlac (11-3) by 2l, 20 ran.
Mister Hight (FR) 20-1 (11-10) Held up, 14th after 4 out, 8th and headway after 2 out, stayed on well to go 2nd close home, 2nd of 30, 2 1/2l behind Spring The Que (10-3) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 hvy in Jan.
Self Defense 25-1 (11-7) Raced in 4th place until dropped to rear 4th, never going well after, well behind when blundered 3 out, 6th of 7, 48l behind Jazz Messenger (11-7) at Kempton 2m hdl Grd 1 (1) gs in Dec.
Quatre Heures (FR) 12-1 (11-10) Towards rear, kept on without threatening from 2 out, 9th of 30, 12l behind Spring The Que (10-3) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 hvy in Jan.
Kawagino (IRE) 14-1 (11-7) Never travelling, always towards rear, 6th of 7, 37l behind Fenix (10-4) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl (2) gs in Nov.
Papini (IRE) 6-1 (11-3) Prominent, led 2nd, made rest, stayed on well, ridden out, won at Sandown 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) hvy in Jan beating Heathcote (10-5) by 5l, 12 ran.
Overstrand (IRE) 14-1 (11-8) Held up in rear, headway approaching 3 out, ridden after 2 out, weakened from last, 3rd of 8, 21l behind Afsoun (11-8) at Haydock 2m hdl Grd 2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Tarlac (GER) 11-2 (11-3) Towards rear, headway 6th, ridden to chase winner 2 out, no extra, 2nd of 20, 2l behind Acambo (11-9) at Ascot 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gs in Dec.
Caracciola (GER) 25-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, moderate effort approaching 2 out, soon beaten, 11th of 17, 24l behind Overstrand (10-5) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (1) hvy in Dec.
Pedrobob (IRE) 7-4fav (11-6) Made all, drew clear after 2 out, stayed on well from last, easily, won at Leopardstown 2m hdl hvy in Dec beating Son Of Oscar (11-6) by 9l, 7 ran.
Private Be 7-2 (11-1) Led, soon clear, ridden approaching 2 out, headed last, kept on gamely but no extra final 100 yards, 2nd of 3, 4l behind Opera Mundi (10-13) at Newbury 2m 1f nov chs (3) hvy in Jan.
Victram (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Never a factor, 17th of 30, 22l behind Spring The Que (10-3) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 hvy in Jan.
Orcadian 9-2fav (11-3) Chased leaders, ridden and every chance 2 out, gradually faded, 5th of 12, 20l behind Papini (11-3) at Sandown 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) hvy in Jan.
Moore's Law (USA) 7-4fav (11-6) Soon settled well off pace in mid-division, closer order from 4 out, led travelling well 2 out, soon clear, easily, won at Cork 2m hdl hvy in Jan beating Drummer First (11-9) by 4 1/2l, 9 ran.
Pirate Flagship (FR) 20-1 (11-1) Mid-divsion to rear, ridden 4 out, no impression, 7th of 20, 12l behind Acambo (11-9) at Ascot 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gs in Dec.
My Immortal 4-6fav (10-12) With leaders, led 3rd, clear 2 out, comfortably, won at Towcester 2m nov hdl (3) gd in Oct beating Sexy Rexy (10-12) by 5l, 16 ran.
Heathcote 14-1 (11-8) Held up, short lived approaching 6th, soon beaten, 9th of 13, 43l behind Ashley Brook (11-6) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) hvy in Jan.
Bongo Fury (FR) 9-4fav (11-3) Prominent, hit 4th, not fluent 7th, soon ridden, weakened 9th, behind when pulled up 3 out in race won by Bohemian Spirit (10-9) at Sandown 2m hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Jan, 6 ran.
New Field (IRE) 10-1 (10-7) Held up, 13th after 3 out, stayed on well under pressure from next, 3rd of 30, 4l behind Spring The Que (10-3) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 hvy in Jan.
Rio De Janeiro (IRE) 7-2fav (10-7) Mid-division, progress before 7th, ridden to lead 2 out, driven out, won at Stratford 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) gs beating Absolut Power (11-0) by 1 1/2l, 12 ran.
Crow Wood 33-1 (11-4) Held up behind leading trio, ridden approaching last, not quicken, went 3rd run-in, 3rd of 4, 11l behind Detroit City (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hdl Grd 2 (1) sft in Dec.