The Giant Bolster, Burton Port and Quartz de Thaix all revert to hurdles having lost their way over fences. Poungach has also been chasing while Whispering Gallery returns from a lengthy absence, though has won 10 of his 17 career starts on the Flat and over hurdles. Florafern should improve on her third at Ascot but it's difficult to imagine that RETURN SPRING won't be in the firing-line again. He's gone up another 4lb since his close second to Sunnyhillboy over track and trip last month but is clearly in good form and likes the uphill finish here.
Poungach (FR) 5-1 (11-7) Tracked leader until 10th, chased leading pair, reminder after 13th, mistake next, blundered and weakened 4 out, last of 4, 33l behind Hadrian's Approach (11-4) at Newbury 3m grad ch (2) gs in Dec.
The Giant Bolster 5-2fav (11-0) Tracked leader, not fluent 4th or 5th, lost 2nd next, in touch when blundered and unseated rider 12th, in a race won by Unioniste (11-6) at Aintree 3m 1f lst chs (1) gs in Dec, 6 ran.
Whispering Gallery 8-15fav (11-9) Always prominent, challenged going well after 4 out, not fluent 2 out, led last, coasted clear final 100 yards, won at Wetherby 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Feb beating Bobowen (11-9) by 6l, 12 ran.
Quartz de Thaix (FR) 16-1 (11-12) Held up in touch, struggling 10th, lost touch 13th, soon tailed off and pulled up, in a race won by De La Bech (10-2) at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Dec, 8 ran.
Grand Vision (IRE) 25-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, not fluent 8th, 3rd 2 out, soon ridden, unable to quicken after last, stayed on same pace final 75 yards, 3rd of 20, 3 1/2l behind Brindisi Breeze (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar '12.
First Fandango 17-2 (11-1) Held up in touch, jumped slowly and lost place 2nd, reminder after next, behind 3 out (normal 6 out), tailed off when mistake last (normal 4 out), 6th of 7, well behind Ely Brown (10-1) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Oct.
Burton Port (IRE) 25-1 (11-12) Held up in rear, not fluent 8th, ridden 14th, well behind 4 out, tailed off, last of 9, well behind Monbeg Dude (11-0) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Dec.
Return Spring (IRE) 7-1 (10-10) Tracked leaders, not much room and lost place after 3 out, rallied before last, edged left flat, went 2nd towards finish, kept on, 2nd of 11, 3/4l behind Sunnyhillboy (10-8) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Dec.
Va'vite (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Always behind, struggling 7th, tailed off, 12th of 13, well behind Highland Retreat (11-0) at Wincanton 2m 6f mrs hcp hdl (2) gs in Nov.
Florafern 7-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, pushed along before 7th, switched left and headway well before 2 out, chasing leading pair when hit 2 out, one pace in 3rd and well held between last 2, 3rd of 10, 10l behind Scholastica (11-5) at Ascot 2m 6f mares hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Nov.
Astigos (FR) 6-1 (10-5) 12th of 20, 25l behind Portos Marzio (10-7) at Auteuil(FR) 2m 3f hcp hdl gd in Nov.