French import Sir Valentino just failed to hold off King Rolfe on his debut for Tom George at Stratford and looks certain to improve and make his presence felt. Anteros, unbeaten in two bumpers, probably found 2m5f beyond him at this stage last time and this trip should suit him better while Dan Skelton has acquired a nice prospect from Ireland in Punchestown bumper winner Stephanie Frances. BUGLER'S DREAM made his hurdling debut in what looked a strong novices event at Kempton and ran well for a long way. He'll have learnt from that and is given the nod. Lotus Pond may prove best of the remainder.
Alwayslookback (IRE) 100-1 (10-9) Towards rear, mistake 1st, rider lost irons, led 3rd, headed 4 out, soon weakened, 9th of 11, well behind Jean De Florette (11-0) at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) hvy in Nov.
Anteros (IRE) 3-1fav (11-0) Held up towards rear, headway after 8th, blundered badly 3 out, 5th and beaten after next, edged left flat, stayed on towards finish, 4th of 13, 9l behind Gallery Exhibition (11-0) at Ludlow 2m 5f hdl (3) gd in Nov.
Audacious 150-1 (10-12) Led, wandered into 1st, headed 5th, weakened and pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Mijhaar (10-12) at Doncaster 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov, 14 ran.
Bugler's Dream (USA) 12-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, ridden before last, no extra run-in, went 4th place close home, 4th of 17, 16l behind Volnay De Thaix (11-5) at Kempton 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Echo Foxtrot 25-1 (10-7) Mid-division, closed on outside after 3f, weakened over 5f out, tailed off, 12th of 13, dis behind Gunner Fifteen (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m NH flat (6) sft in Nov.
Invincible Hero (IRE) 12-1 (8-13) Led, narrowly headed over 2f out, ridden and led again over 2f out, stayed on well, won at Nottingham 1m hcp 0-85 (4) sft in Oct beating Eurystheus (8-10) by 1 1/4l, 10 ran (flat).
Kingscombe (USA) 20-1 (10-7) Held up in rear, weakened approaching 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 10, well behind Gigondas (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f 3yo hdl (4) gd in Aug '12.
Layline (IRE) 16-1 (9-2) Keen in touch in rear, headway 2f out, chased leader over 1f out, stayed on to lead final strides, won at Wolverhampton 2m hcp (4) pol in Nov beating Montjess (8-6) by hd, 6 ran (flat).
Lotus Pond (IRE) 14-1 (10-12) Held up in touch, effort and pushed along before 2 out, went 3rd between last 2 until before last, weakened flat, 4th of 8, 16l behind John Reel (10-12) at Southwell 2m nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Muckle Roe (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, led 13f out, headed 5f out, weakened over 3f out, tailed off, last of 18, well behind Carningli (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m NH flat (4) gs in Oct.
No Such Number 8-1 (9-6) Prominent, led after 1f, headed over 3f out, stayed on same pace final 2f, 4th of 9, 7l behind Secret Edge (9-2) at Newbury 2m app hcp (5) sft in Oct (flat).
Sir Valentino (FR) 4-1fav (10-9) Led, driven between last 2, hard pressed last, soon headed, no extra in clear 2nd flat, 2nd of 13, 2 1/4l behind King Rolfe (11-0) at Stratford 2m mdn hdl (4) sft in Oct.
Femme D'espere 100-1 (10-12) Always behind, lost touch 6f out, tailed off, last of 12, well behind Set In Her Ways (10-5) at Aintree 2m 1f mares n h flat (5) gd in May '11.
Stephanie Frances (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Mid-division on outer, headway from 4f out, ridden in 7th entering straight, headway into close 2nd 1f out, stayed on well to lead close home, won at Punchestown 2m nhf gf in May beating Wicklow Brave (11-6) by nk, 23 ran.