TWELVE MONTHS ago, Sir Des Champs landed a huge gamble in this race when coming from the clouds under Emmet Mullins. He was a classy winner and there are likely to be quite a few well-handicapped horses in this year's contest too.
Like in the Grand Annual when I'm always keeping an eye on Nicky Henderson-trained runners, it's a similar story here as David Pipe is sure to have one or two up his sleeve in the race named after his father.
French import BALGARRY could be the one from Pond House this year. His debut on British soil last week was mighty impressive. He went up just 5lb for that display which certainly wasn't overly-harsh given the authority with which he won.
He was sent straight to the front by Conor O'farrell and never looked like being reeled in after jumping fluently throughout. He looked far better than a 135-rated handicapper when winning that and he might prove that point at Cheltenham.
Donald Mccain's Bourne is a big danger but I've a sneaky suspicion that the handicapper has caught up with him and I'd prefer to be on the lightly-raced Balgarry instead.
Selection: BALGARRY Danger: Bourne