16.15: Tanks For That weighted to go well
A wide open 20-runner affair in which Tanks For That looks worth siding with having been given a massive chance by the handicapper.
The Nicky Henderson trained gelding is on a long losing run, having not scored over the obstacles since landing a handicap chase at Cheletenham back in Novemer 2011 off a mark of 140.
However, the 11-year-old did win a “jumpers bumper” three starts back at Kempton and has often run well to be placed in some ultra competitive handicaps.
Those include a solid second of 21 to Bellvani on the 2012 running of the Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival off a rating of 149 and an excellent second of 17 to Oiseau de Nuit in the Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree last year off 147.
Tanks For That now gets into this contest off a mark just 138, his lowest in over four years, and that gives him every chance at the weights.
There are plenty of dangers, including Ned Buntline and Sizing Machine who both look to have leading claims.
The former is trained by Noel Meade and has always been held in high regard.
The six-year-old ran well on his chasing debut at Navan back in November when finishing third to Ballycasey, and then opened his account over the larger obstacles when scoring by a comfortable two lengths in a beginners chase at Navan.
The son of Refuse To Bend finished an excellent runner-up in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival on his latest start, and off just 2lb higher commands the utmost respect.
Sizing Machine travelled well for a long way before falling at the final fence on his latest start at Fairyhouse, and runs off a mark just 1lb higher than when just touched off in a handicap hurdle at this meeting 12 months ago.
Henry De Bromhead’s six-year-old remains unexposed over fences after just five starts, and will appreciate the good ground that he now encounters.
The son of King’s Theatre looks weighted to go close, and represents connections who have already struck at the meeting with Sizing Europe in the Champion Chase.