ADVISOR may not have achieved as much as Alavain or Carlito Brigante to date, however his stablemate won the Fred Winter in imperious fashion and one assumes that this flat recruit is seen as the better horse of the two. Paul Nicholls' son of Anabaa is unbeaten in two starts over hurdles and although this is a step up in grade he is expected to cope. His experience of various flat tracks, including Goodwood, should stand him in good stead around here and he must go close. Alavain has been the talk of Ireland after his Grade Two win at Fairyhouse and is an obvious player but his form doesn't leap off the page, indeed he has plenty to find with Carlito Brigante on their Leopardstown run back in December. The last-named has since won again at Musselburgh and therefore looks the pick of the pair. Gilded Age's form was given a boost by Orsippus earlier this week, Barwell Bridge doesn't have much to find with the selection on their running at Ascot but he may have been flattered, whilst Barizan's experience at the track will stand him in good stead but his November form hasn't really worked out. Westlin' Winds is a nimble horse and his form with ante-post favourite Mille Chief would give him a leading chance today if able to cope with the bigger field/task. Olofi has won at the track already and has been neglected by many in the run-up to this race, Rupestrian needs to improve but he has been saved for the race and Richard Johnson is riding full of confidence, whilst Soldatino could be anything after one win from one start in the UK, and that was when pitched into a Grade Two at Kempton. Secant Star is another with plenty of potential and his trainer believes this ground will be fine for his French import. He doddled up at Gowran Park in January and bookmakers may be wary if the money arrives this afternoon. Pittoni is a strong traveller but his Navan run last time out must go down as a disappointment and he needs to bounce back. A fascinating start to the day, with the nod going to Advisor.
Advisor (FR) 10-11fav (11-4) Tracked leader, challenged 6th, led between last 2, ridden and stayed on well flat, won at Ascot 2m 4yo nov hdl (3) sft in Jan beating Barwell Bridge (11-4) by 3l, 8 ran.
Alaivan (IRE) 4-6fav (11-0) Settled behind leaders, 6th halfway, headway in 4th 3 out, improved to challenge 2 out, soon led, clear before last, easily, won at Fairyhouse 2m Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (4yo) sft in Feb beating Loch Long (11-0) by 17l, 8 ran.
Barizan (IRE) 5-4fav (11-6) Chased leader, led 4 out, dipped 3 out, headed approaching last, weakened run-in, 2nd of 8, 9l behind Pistolet Noir (10-12) at Cheltenham 2m juv nov hdl Grd 2 (1) sft in Nov.
Barwell Bridge 10-11fav (11-4) Prominent, ridden approaching 3 out, one pace from 2 out, stayed on well from last, took 2nd towards finish, 2nd of 16, 2l behind Blue Nymph (10-5) at Doncaster 2m 4yo nov hdl (3) gs in Jan.
Blazing Buck 16-1 (10-4) With leader, led 4 out, stayed on well from last, won at Ffos Las 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd beating Mae Cigan (11-0) by 3 1/2l, 12 ran.
Bob's Legend (IRE) 50-1 (10-1) Led after 3f, headed 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 13, 26l behind Gallox Bridge (10-13) at Fontwell 1m 6f NH flat (6) sft in Feb.
Carlito Brigante (IRE) Evensfav (11-8) Held up, in touch on outside, went 2nd before 3 out, challenged next, led last, driven clear flat, comfortably, won at Musselburgh 2m 4yo nov hdl (2) gs in Feb beating Ultimate (11-5) by 6l, 7 ran.
Gilded Age 7-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, led 2 out, kept on well, driven out, won at Doncaster 2m 4yo nov hdl (4) sft in Feb beating Orsippus (10-12) by 3/4l, 14 ran.
Investissement 14-1 (11-0) Pressed leader until weakened soon after 2 out, no chance when blundered last, tailed off, 5th of 7, well behind Baccalaureate (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Jan.
Olofi (FR) 10-3 (11-3) Held up in touch, hit 5th, smooth headway before 2 out, quickened on outside to lead last, stayed on strongly flat, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f 3yo nov hdl (2) sft in Dec beating George Nympton (11-0) by 2 3/4l, 11 ran.
Pittoni (IRE) 9-10fav (10-12) Tracked leaders in 4th, progress into 3rd 3 out, soon ridden, no impression from after 2 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 6, 5l behind Coole River (11-10) at Navan 2m nov hdl G2 hvy in Feb.
Puzzlemaster 10-1 (10-7) Mid-division, mistake 4th, headway approaching next, weakened approaching 3 out, 12th of 16, well behind Raquel White (10-5) at Ludlow 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd.
Rupestrian 8-13fav (11-1) Chased clear winner, lost 2nd when mistake 5th, soon pushed along, ridden and outpaced next, stayed on to go 2nd 2 out, no impression, 2nd of 7, 8l behind Royal Max (11-1) at Stratford 2m 3yo nov hdl (3) gf in Aug.
Secant Star (FR) 2-5fav (11-0) Made virtually all, novicey jump 3 out, clear after next, not fluent last, stayed on well, easily, won at Gowran Park 2m 4yo mdn hdl hvy in Jan beating Capellanus (11-0) by 7l, 7 ran.
Soldatino (FR) 7-4 (11-5) Held up in rear, headway 4th, chased leaders 3 out, led approaching last, quickened clear, readily, won at Kempton 2m 4yo nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Feb beating Toubab (10-12) by 7l, 5 ran.
Troubletimestwo (FR) 7-2 (10-1) Held up mid-division, headway approaching 4 out, good headway approaching 3 out, led and stumbled slightly on landing 2 out, pressed last, kept on well flat, driven out, won at Doncaster 2m cond nov hdl 4yo+ (4) gd beating Conquisto (11-1) by 1 1/2l, 12 ran.
Westlin' Winds (IRE) 2-1 (11-5) Led, joined 2 out, narrow advantage when mistake and headed last, pushed along and unable to quicken flat, 2nd of 9, 2 1/4l behind Mille Chief (10-12) at Kempton 2m 3yo nov hdl (3) gs in Dec.
Blue Nymph 13-8fav (10-12) Chased leaders, went 3rd approaching 2 out, hit last, soon weakened, 4th of 10, 7l behind Open Day (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 1f 4yo nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Pebble In A Pool (IRE) 25-1 (10-9) Rear, no impression before 3 out, kept on one pace straight, 6th of 8, 37l behind Alaivan (11-0) at Fairyhouse 2m Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) (4yo) sft in Feb.