Sunday City may be getting on in years but the handicapper has finally started to release his grip and the evergreen 11-year-old is worth a cursory check in the market. WELL GREEN was the subject of strong support on his chasing bow for Brian Ellison and the eight-year-old could gain compensation for that near miss in our finale. He did not do a great deal wrong in what looked to be a strong novice event by Hexham's standards, and a mark of 107 does not appear too onerous under the circumstances. Woodlark Island was a competent hurdler in his grade and he looks to have the scope to be successful over fences while Very Stylish was outclassed in better company last season and may be best watched at present. Tom George hasn't had too many runners of late but The Darling Boy won a handicap chase at Towcester in May and he has been cannily kept over hurdles in the interim.
Prince des Marais (FR) 9-1 (10-12) Led, clear 2nd until 5th, headed approaching 2 out, 3rd and beaten when not fluent last, no extra, 3rd of 12, 12l behind Thegaygardener (10-10) at Uttoxeter 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd.
Sunday City (JPN) 10-3 (11-7) Hit 1st, tracked leader, ridden and effort when not fluent 3 out, soon no impression, 3rd and well held next, 3rd of 4, 18l behind Bhaltair (10-11) at Aintree 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Jun.
Woodlark Island (IRE) 7-1 (11-2) Chased leader from 2nd, every chance 3 out, chased winner after, driven before 2 out, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 12, 6l behind Superman De La Rue (11-3) at Newton Abbot 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gf in May.
Very Stylish (IRE) 50-1 (11-6) Held up, always in rear, well behind after 13th, 8th of 10, well behind Penny Max (11-3) at Newbury 3m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Park Lane 20-1 (11-2) Held up, headway 5th, left 3rd 9th, ridden next, saddle beginning to slip back after 4 out, went close 2nd before 3 out, lost weight cloth just before 2 out, no impression on winner last, demoted to 3rd flat (disqualifed), in a race won by Andreo Bambaleo (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 4f nov chs (4) gd in Jun, 6 ran.
Quiet Whisper (IRE) 2-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, weakened from 5th, jumped slow 6th, headway before 3 out, soon went poor 3rd, soon weakened, 3rd of 5, 44l behind Court In Session (10-12) at Hereford 2m nov chs (4) gf in May.
The Darling Boy 7-2 (11-12) Held up in mid-division, headway after 6th, ridden 3 out, no impression on front pair last, weakened flat, 3rd of 10, 23l behind Commanche Dream (10-0) at Worcester 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gd in Jun.
Knockavilla (IRE) 13-2 (11-4) Tracked leader, led 6th, headed 3 out, led again last, ridden and headed 2f out, no extra inside final furlong, 4th of 5, 9l behind Ormus (10-1) at Hexham 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Jun.
Well Green (IRE) 11-8fav (10-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd, led 5th, headed after 4 out, pressed leader 3 out, led narrowly 2 out, headed run-in, kept on and held towards finish, 2nd of 4, nk behind Gentleman Jeff (10-12) at Worcester 2m nov chs (4) sft.
Nosecond Chance (IRE) 13-2 (11-8) Held up in rear, left modest 4th 9th, stayed on to dispute modest 3rd 3 out, weakened last, tailed off, 4th of 5, well behind Panjo Bere (11-7) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in May.