French import Massena only found Shalambar too good when backed into favouritism at Warwick and has every chance of going one better here off the same mark. Ayr third Bonnie Burnett also has a chance at the weights and White Diamond has finished second in both runs over hurdles this winter and has also been in decent form on the all-weather. The four-year-old King Of Wing looks capable of picking up a small race somewhere but we prefer MARINO PRINCE today. Sam Drake was on board when the eight-year-old won a similar race of soft ground around here last spring and his latest third to Coverholder at Doncaster suggested a return to form was imminent.
Massena (IRE) 11-4fav (11-9) Held up in rear, smooth headway approaching 4 out, tracked leaders after next, went 2nd going well approaching 2 out, challenged 2 out, every chance when mistake last, stayed on same pace flat, 2nd of 7, 2l behind Shalambar (11-6) at Warwick 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) sft.
Bonnie Burnett (IRE) 10-1 (11-1) Mid-division, headway 3 out, driven to challenge next, kept on same pace, 3rd of 9, 8l behind Jonny Delta (11-5) at Ayr 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft.
Alwaystheoptimist 10-3 (11-3) Took keen hold, held up in rear, steady headway on inside approaching 7th, went 3rd soon after bypassing omitted next, ridden and no impression in 4th when mistake 2 out, weakened and lost 4th between last two, 5th of 10, 18l behind Bellflower Boy (11-1) at Taunton 2m 3f sell hdl (5) sft in Feb.
Marino Prince (FR) 10-1 (11-6) In touch, headway before 3 out, not fluent and chased winner from 2 out, no impression from before last, lost 2nd place close home, 3rd of 15, 7l behind Coverholder (10-1) at Doncaster 2m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Feb.
White Diamond 3-1 (10-10) With leader, lost place 3 out, 3rd and ridden after next, stayed on to take 2nd flat, no impression with winner, 2nd of 8, 6l behind Boston Blue (11-8) at Doncaster 2m clm hdl (5) gd.
King Of Wing (IRE) 9-1 (10-7) Held up in rear, not fluent, headway approaching 3 out, mistake next, no impression on front pair, 3rd of 7, 11l behind Khazium (10-7) at Ludlow 2m sell hdl (5) sft in Feb.
Backstreet Billy (IRE) 7-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, struggling in 9th before 4 out, tailed off and rider looking to pull up when jinked left and unseated approaching 3 out, in a race won by Smokey George (11-11) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Nov, 10 ran.
The Nephew (IRE) 40-1 (11-2) Raced wide, took keen hold, held up towards rear, mistake 4 out, soon struggling, tailed off, 12th of 14, well behind Edmund Kean (11-9) at Taunton 2m 1f nov hdl (4) hvy in Feb.