Alpha Way will ensure there is no hanging about here but is 3lb out of the handicap and likely to face a battle for the lead from the potentially well-handicapped Rougham. The latter took a heavy fall at Taunton in January, however, while Russian Flag, Phidippides, Only Vintage and Tyup Pompey were all pulled up on their latest starts and have a little to prove now. Carrickboy was a little disappointing when beaten at Ayr so this can go to MADE IN TIME. He appears to have ironed out his jumping problems lately and was far from disgraced at Cheltenham after winning a decent novices' handicap over 3m at Taunton. A return to winning ways is on the cards.
Russian Flag (FR) 33-1 (11-7) Led, not fluent and headed 4th, weakened well before 2 out and pulled up, in a race won by Top Smart (11-5) at Sandown 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Feb, 15 ran.
Phidippides (IRE) 4-1fav (11-8) Mid-division, ridden 5 out, soon weakened and pulled up, in a race won by Fiendish Flame (11-12) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd in Jan, 11 ran.
Rougham 6-1 (10-13) Mid-division, in touch 6th, lost place 8th, mid-division when fell 4 out, in a race won by Micheal Flips (11-4) at Taunton 2m 3f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Jan, 11 ran.
Carrickboy (IRE) 15-8 (11-7) Tracked leaders in 3rd, chased leader from 5th, led after 8th, headed 9th, led again 4 out, blundered 2 out, headed before last, one pace, 2nd of 5, 10l behind Bishops Heir (11-0) at Ayr 2m 4f nov chs (4) sft in Feb.
Made In Time (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, hampered 4 out, switched right approaching 2 out, soon ridden and one pace, no impression flat, 7th of 16, 9l behind Bless The Wings (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov chs (2) gs in Jan.
Only Vintage (USA) 12-1 (10-11) Held up in rear, not fluent 4th, struggling 11th, tailed off 13th, soon pulled up, in a race won by Painter Man (9-12) at Wincanton 2m 5f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Feb, 13 ran.
Tyup Pompey (IRE) 16-1 (11-1) Led, headed before 2nd, tracked leaders, mistake 4th, rider lost iron, soon lost place, jumped left 8th, tailed off when pulled up before 12th, in a race won by Rockiteer (11-9) at Ludlow 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Nov, 9 ran.
Alpha Way (GER) 10-1 (10-12) Led until 7th, 4th and weakening when mistake 4 out, tailed off, last of 5, well behind Niceonefrankie (10-12) at Leicester 2m nov chs (4) gd in Feb.