Mcvicar, who won at Kempton and Huntingdon around this time last year, may well prove the pick of the four-year-olds in this. Valid Reason ran well on the Flat at York last month and has a chance on his best form but Hawkhill has become disappointing and the once-raced Chat Room has a bit to prove at this level. UBALDO DES MENHIES should have won more than once last season but was a beaten favourite on a couple of occasions after winning easily at Fakenham. However, he loves soft ground and his yard is going well at present. Another handicap debutant, Ut Majeur Aulmes, may be the pick of the remainder.
Saphir Du Rheu (FR) 6-1fav (10-10) Mid-division, mistake 3rd, weakened before 3 out, 20th of 24, well behind Flaxen Flare (10-7) at Cheltenham 2m (1) gs in Mar.
Ubaldo Des Menhies (FR) 5-4fav (11-6) Raced freely, led, ridden and headed 2 out, no impression on winner before last, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 11, 13l behind Springinherstep (10-6) at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Apr.
Oscar Prairie (IRE) 14-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, pushed along after 3rd, behind from 5th, 5th of 6, 18l behind Alwaystheoptimist (10-4) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Oct.
Hawkhill (IRE) 25-1 (10-11) Held up in 4th, driven and lost place after 3 out, weakened next, 8th of 11, 34l behind Ahyaknowyerself (11-4) at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Sep.
Valid Reason 20-1 (11-8) In touch on outside, lost place 3 out, soon weakened, pulled up before next, in a race won by Loose Chips (11-7) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy in Dec, 12 ran.
Chat Room 5-1 (11-6) Slightly hampered 1st, soon mid-division on outside, headway 3 out, went 2nd before next, led between last 2, clear when switched towards stands side rail flat, readily, won at Catterick 2m mdn hdl (5) hvy in Dec beating Mount Hope (11-6) by 9l, 14 ran.
Mcvicar 7-1 (11-3) Chased leading pair, lost 3rd after 3 out, ridden on long run to next, soon weakened, 7th of 11, 22l behind Ptit Zig (11-12) at Sandown 2m 4yo hcp hdl (2) gd in Apr.
Swampfire (IRE) 11-4fav (11-1) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden before and blundered when weakening 2 out, 4th of 6, 18l behind Man Of Leisure (10-13) at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-150 (2) gd in Jul.
Whipcrackaway (IRE) 33-1 (10-11) Always in rear, ridden and struggling before 3 out, tailed off, 8th of 11, 30l behind Ptit Zig (11-12) at Sandown 2m 4yo hcp hdl (2) gd in Apr.
Crafty Roberto 5-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, pushed along and headway before 2 out, went 2nd run-in, kept on and always held by winner run-in, 2nd of 10, 2l behind Coffee (11-8) at Market Rasen 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in May.
Kingcora (FR) 16-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, pushed along before 3 out, ridden soon after, never dangerous, 8th of 11, 50l behind Foxcub (10-0) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Oct.
Ut Majeur Aulmes (FR) 66-1 (11-2) Always towards rear, 5th of 11, 27l behind Minella Forfitness (11-8) at Doncaster 2m NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) gd in Feb.
Escort'men (FR) 11-1 (10-5) Mid-division, chased leaders 2 out, soon ridden and no impression, weakened before last, 7th of 16, 31l behind Magnifique Etoile (11-12) at Stratford 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Oct.