The four-year-old VALCO DE TOUZAINE has to concede weight all round in this courtesy of a couple of wins in the French Provinces last summer but he looks up to the task on the evidence of a close-up third behind a couple of decent juvenile hurdlers at Haydock last month. The danger may be Viva Steve, a fair second at Towcester in January but a little disappointing when only fourth over 2m4f at Fakenham next time. Expanding Universe has his first run for Tony Carroll having shown promise in Ireland for Dermot Weld while Urcalin won a couple of bumpers in France and showed up well behind Tominator here last month. The latter should be winning soon. Fair Bramble was also fourth here on his hurdles bow and has plenty of scope.
Valco De Touzaine (FR) 11-4 (11-6) Led, ridden before 2 out, headed before last, rallied from last, lost 2nd place close home, 3rd of 6, 2 3/4l behind Only Orsenfoolsies (11-3) at Haydock 2m 4yo hdl (2) hvy in Feb.
Annesbrook (IRE) 100-1 (10-12) Always behind, ridden and struggling 6th, tailed off when mistake 3 out, 16th of 18, well behind Berkeley Barron (10-12) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hdl (4) gs.
Catch Me Up (IRE) 50-1 (11-2) Held up towards rear, headway on outside after 6th, ridden and forced wide on bend before 3 out, soon lost place, 14th of 15, 25l behind Utopian (10-13) at Ludlow 2m mdn hdl (4) sft in Feb.
Dr Thistle (IRE) 40-1 (11-2) Last trio, not fluent and dropped to last at 5th, tailed off when went right 3 out, went right again last, 8th of 9, well behind Shotavodka (11-9) at Sandown 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Easy Beesy 16-1 (11-2) Led for 2f, remained prominent until weakened over 4f out, 7th of 12, well behind Quick Decisson (11-2) at Wincanton 2m NH flat (6) hvy in Dec.
Expanding Universe (IRE) 15-2 (11-12) Prominent and led from 2nd, strongly pressed and joined 2 out, soon headed and dropped to 4th before last, no extra run-in, 5th of 22, 9l behind Morning Assembly (11-12) at Naas 2m 3f mdn hdl hvy in Jan.
Jimmy The Brave 66-1 (11-5) Held up in rear, ridden 2f out, never dangerous, last of 8, 24l behind Foster's Road (10-8) at Lingfield 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan.
Laidback Leo 80-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders on outside, took keen hold, lost place before 4th, tailed off after 6th, 11th of 12, well behind Who's Cross (11-2) at Ludlow 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Marmalade Man 16-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway before 4 out, went 4th before 2 out, one pace, 5th of 16, 31l behind If In Doubt (11-4) at Towcester 2m nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Supermightyfine 66-1 (11-2) Held up towards rear, ridden and well beaten after 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 14, 33l behind Mixologist (11-2) at Southwell 2m mdn hdl (5) gs in Feb.
Urcalin (FR) 25-1 (10-13) Held up in rear, not fluent 2nd or 4th, headway after 3 out, outpaced by leaders from next, 4th of 6, 17l behind Tominator (11-9) at Sandown 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Feb.
Viva Steve (IRE) 2-1fav (11-2) Tracked leader, left in lead 7th, hit and headed 3 out, ridden and weakened after 2 out, 4th of 10, 32l behind Edmund Kean (11-2) at Fakenham 2m 4f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (3) sft in Feb.
Fair Bramble 14-1 (10-9) Held up in 6th and off the pace, headway to 3rd at 3rd, no impression when lost 3rd before 2 out, weakened, blundered last, 4th of 9, 24l behind Shotavodka (11-9) at Sandown 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Strictly Cissbury 5-1 (10-7) Held up towards rear, ridden over 4f out, tailed off over 3f out, last of 7, 43l behind Oscars Den (11-4) at Lingfield 2m n h flat (6) std in Jan.