Veteran Lorient Express is facing a stiff task on his reappearance and fellow C&D scorer Russian Flag hasn't been in the same form this season as last, though is back on a winning mark. Top Mark and Lord Singer now sport blinkers in an attempt to rekindle enthusiasm but the latter has gone up a further pound since finishing well beaten at Folkestone. The handicapper may have also got to Kilkenny All Star but Clouseau is still probably open to a little improvement, as is DINARIUS. Alex Hales' six-year-old carries a penalty for his pillar-to-post victory at Exeter but had a couple of useful novices behind that day and will take some catching if adopting similar tactics around here.
Lorient Express (FR) 5-1 (10-7) Led, not fluent 5th, blundered 8th, headed next, ridden and lost place approaching 2 out, soon weakened, last of 4, 21l behind Panjo Bere (10-12) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs (2) gs in Feb '10.
Russian Flag (FR) 11-1 (11-9) Held up towards rear on outer, headway approaching and hit 8th, lost place next, weakened from 5 out, 5th of 7, 42l behind Sagalyrique (11-12) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Jan.
Top Mark 66-1 (11-1) Towards rear, ridden and weakened 3 out, last of 16, well behind Ski Sunday (11-11) at Kempton 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Jan.
Lord Singer (FR) 4-1 (12-0) Led, clear before 3rd, headed soon after 4 out, weakened 2 out, 4th of 6, 19l behind Jeczmien (10-11) at Taunton 2m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd.
Kilkenny All Star (IRE) 6-1 (11-1) Close up when fell 1st, in a race won by Lease Lend (11-12) at Wetherby 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Jan, 9 ran.
Dinarius 14-1 (10-12) Led until approaching 4 out, led again next, not fluent 2 out, stayed on well under pressure, won at Exeter 2m 3f beg chase (3) sft beating Ace High (10-12) by 8l, 7 ran.
Viable 14-1 (11-1) Held up towards rear, tracked leaders 6th, lost place 8th, reminders after 5 out, soon weakened, 7th of 9, 34l behind Lease Lend (11-12) at Wetherby 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Jan.
Clouseau (NZ) 8-1 (11-4) Held up, headway approaching 4th, blundered 7th, chased winner 3 out until next, one pace, 3rd of 9, 14l behind Cadoudalas (11-5) at Hereford 2m nov hcp chs (0-125) (3) hvy in Jan.