Many of these stayers are old rivals but this looks a hotter contest than 12 months ago when Truckers Lodge won as he liked ahead of Captain Drake. The veterans Doing Fine and Final Nudge have no weight to speak of but Ascot specialist Regal Encore shoulders a welter burden. Coo Star Sivola has always shaped like an out-and-out stayer but has yet to race beyond 3m2f. Nobody would begrudge THE TWO AMIGOS a big-race success and he finished ahead of a number of these when runner-up in the Welsh Grand National in December. He was behind Achille in the Grand National Trial at Haydock later but can reverse that form over this longer trip and on better terms. Tommy Rapper is worth a market check having been lightly raced over fences and a similar comment applies to both Time To Get Up and Highland Hunter. Crossley Tender is another to consider if getting a run from his reserve spot and Mighty Thunder proved his stamina when winning the Edinburgh National. Screaming Colours has been back to his best this season and Bill Durkan’s raider looks the pick of the remainder.
Regal Encore (IRE) 12-1 (11-10) Raced out wide towards rear, closer in 6th at 13th, headway chasing leaders, went 2nd between last 2, over 6 lengths down and still plenty to do last, closed all the way to the line, just held, 2nd of 10, hd behind Captain Chaos (10-9) at Ascot 3m hcp lst (1) sft in Feb.
Truckers Lodge (IRE) 14-1 (11-8) Chased leaders, outpaced 4 out, well beaten from 2 out, 7th of 18, 19l behind Secret Reprieve (10-1) at Chepstow 3m 7f hcp (1) sft in Jan.
Ramses De Teillee (FR) 15-2 (11-12) Tracked leaders, hit 9th, not fluent 15th, lost position before 4 out, ridden before last, kept on and went fourth run-in, 4th of 9, 10 1/4l behind Lord Du Mesnil (11-9) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp (1) sft in Feb.
Highland Hunter (IRE) 11-4 (11-11) Mounted on walkway, raced on inside, led until jumped slowly and headed 2nd, chased leaders, went 2nd after 7th until 9th, 2nd again 12th, pushed along and every chance last, found no extra run-in, 2nd of 6, 4l behind Earth Moor (11-8) at Exeter 3m hcp (3) sft in Feb.
Acting Lass (IRE) 18-1 (11-7) Always behind, tailed of 9th, pulled up before 4 out, at Ascot 2m 5f hcp (2) sft in Jan.
The Two Amigos 13-2 (11-4) Prominent, pressed leader 4 out, ridden before 2 out, lost place before last, no extra run-in, 3rd of 9, 8l behind Lord Du Mesnil (11-9) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp (1) sft in Feb.
Golan Fortune (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Held up in mid-division, slightly hampered 4th, headway to go prominent in chasing group approaching 6th, pushed along after 3 out, weakened next, 4th of 10, 11l behind Hometown Boy (11-3) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp (3) gd in Feb.
Achille (FR) 11-1 (10-12) In rear, headway 3 out, tracked leaders 2 out, went second before last, pressed leader on run-in but always looked held, 2nd of 9, 1/2l behind Lord Du Mesnil (11-9) at Haydock 3m 4f hcp (1) sft in Feb.
Calett Mad (FR) 14-1 (10-9) Held up early, closer in mid-division at 5th, chased leaders after 7th (water), unseated rider 10th, at Aintree 3m 2f hcp (1) sft in Dec.
Captain Drake (IRE) 28-1 (10-7) Chased leaders, slow and lost place 3rd, rider lost iron briefly 9th, headway 11th, every chance 4 out, 4th and fading inside final 100 yards, 4th of 18, 6l behind Secret Reprieve (10-1) at Chepstow 3m 7f hcp (1) sft in Jan.
Prime Venture (IRE) 16-1 (10-6) Chased leaders, not fluent 15th, outpaced 4 out, kept on from last, 5th of 18, 8 1/4l behind Secret Reprieve (10-1) at Chepstow 3m 7f hcp (1) sft in Jan.
Mighty Thunder 14-1 (11-1) Mid-division, headway 5th, led 18th, clear 4 out, left further clear 2 out, stayed on, won at Musselburgh 4m 1f hcp (2) sft in Feb beating Dino Boy (10-8) by 20l, 11 ran.
Tommy Rapper (IRE) 16-1 (10-3) Held up in rear on outside, closed after 8th, went 2nd 2 out, not fluent last, held and given reminder flat, 2nd of 10, 3 1/4l behind Brinkley (10-7) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp (2) hvy in Feb.
Time To Get Up (IRE) 10-1 (11-2) Held up in touch, closed from 4 out, led 2 out, edged left flat, drew clear, stayed on well, won at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp (3) hvy in Feb beating Shanty Alley (11-2) by 5l, 14 ran.
Truckin Away (IRE) 3-1fav (11-4) Held up in midfield, jumped right 5th, chased leader 14th, upsides 3 out, ridden to lead 2 out, stayed on from last, won at Doncaster 3m hcp (3) sft in Dec beating The Late Legend (10-3) by 7 1/2l, 9 ran.
Coo Star Sivola (FR) 6-1 (11-5) Chased leaders out wide, went 3rd at 9th, 2nd 3 out, led briefly and mistake 2 out, chased winner after, 1 length down last, driven and no extra run-in, 2nd of 7, 4 1/4l behind Deise Aba (11-7) at Sandown 3m hcp (2) hvy in Feb.
Doing Fine (IRE) 15-2 (10-11) Always prominent, led 11th, pushed along bypassing usual 3 out, headed soon after, rallied to regain lead before last, wandered on run-in but stayed on gamely, won at Sandown 3m 5f hcp (2) sft in Dec beating Crosspark (11-12) by 3/4l, 7 ran.
Screaming Colours (IRE) 9-1 (10-3) Held up towards rear, slight mistake 4th and mistake 11th, progress into 7th 5 out, ridden in 5th 3 out, stayed on to challenge last, soon disputed, held in 2nd closing stages, 2nd of 18, 1/2l behind The Big Dog (10-11) at Punchestown 3m 4f hcp sft in Feb.
Springfield Fox 10-1 (10-11) Led, not fluent 5th, mistake 19th, slow 22nd, headed after 4 out, weakened before 2 out, 5th of 12, 17 1/4l behind Sam's Adventure (11-1) at Newcastle 4m 1f hcp (2) sft in Feb.
Final Nudge (IRE) 13-2 (11-6) Held up in rear, headway from 13th, going well enough before 3 out, ridden and held next, 5th of 14, 11 3/4l behind Time To Get Up (11-2) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp (3) hvy in Feb.