POUNGACH took a heavy fall after slipping on landing when making his chasing debut at Chepstow and was very careful at his fences on his next start at Wincanton. He will have learnt plenty from that latter run and looks the type to go on to better things. Gullinbursti and Knock A Hand fought out the finish of a handicap hurdle at Newbury in February with the latter just prevailing. Both have had just the one run over fences with the former doing the better of the pair but there's likely to be little between them again. Super Duty, a lightly raced and promising type over timber, was expected to make a winning start over fences at Carlisle but found Bury Parade too good. With that under his belt he can provide the main threat though neither of the remaining pair can be dismissed.
Safran De Cotte (FR) 9-2 (11-3) Held up mid-division, hit 6th, headway 5 out, chased leader after 2 out, led last, kept on well, won at Stratford 2m 7f Beginners Chase (0-125) (4yo+) (3) sft beating Godsmejudge (11-3) by 3l, 11 ran.
Gullinbursti (IRE) 7-2 (11-4) Disputed lead until went on before 11th, headed narrowly before 4 out when not fluent, kept on same pace, no impression in clear 3rd from 2 out, 3rd of 10, 9l behind Harry Topper (11-4) at Exeter 3m beg chs (4) gs in Oct.
Knock A Hand (IRE) 6-4fav (11-4) Prominent in chasing group, ridden before 13th, soon outpaced, struggling and no chance from next, 4th of 6, 31l behind Masters Hill (11-4) at Chepstow 3m nov chs (4) gs in Oct.
Poungach (FR) 7-4fav (11-2) Led until 6th, not fluent 11th, outpaced approaching 3 out, rallied and edged right flat, kept on well towards finish, went 2nd post, no impression on winner, 2nd of 8, 4 1/2l behind Houblon Des Obeaux (11-6) at Wincanton 2m 5f nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs.
Super Duty (IRE) 11-10fav (11-2) Led or disputed lead to after 5th, pressed winner, ridden and every chance 2 out, kept on, held flat, 2nd of 10, 2l behind Bury Parade (10-13) at Carlisle 2m beg chs (4) sft in Oct.
Tenor Nivernais (FR) 50-1 (10-11) Behind, struggling 9th, never near leaders, 9th of 21, 27l behind Cape Tribulation (11-12) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Apr.