Empress Orchid is improving over fences and stayed on stoutly to hold off Stopped Out at Wetherby last time. She can't be ignored while Triple Bluff was an easy winner over C&D last month, though probably doesn't have much scope for further improvement. GEORGE NYMPTON clearly didn't get home over 2m5f at Huntingdon on Boxing Day having looked to have built up a winning advantage on the turn for home. The drop in distance will suit and he makes more appeal than the consistent-but-one-paced Hes Our Lad and Lucy's Perfect, who lacks a recent run and was tailed off on her chasing debut in July. Alpha Way, pulled up at Ludlow last time, also has a bit to prove now.
Lucy's Perfect 5-1 (10-12) Led to 7th, weakened before 4 out, tailed off, last of 4, 49l behind Two Kisses (10-0) at Newton Abbot 2m beg chs (5) gf in Jul.
Hes Our Lad (IRE) 4-1 (10-8) Held up in rear but in touch, chased leaders 6th, every chance when fell 3 out, in a race won by Oldrik (10-13) at Taunton 2m 3f Novice Handicap Chase (0-135) (4yo+) (3) gd in Dec, 5 ran.
Empress Orchid 3-1 (10-4) Made all, ridden after 3 out, 2 lengths clear last, all out flat, held on near finish, won at Wetherby 2m beg chs (5) sft in Dec beating Stopped Out (11-0) by 1/2l, 5 ran.
George Nympton (IRE) 2-1fav (10-13) Led until 2nd, prominent, led 4 out, joined 2 out, soon headed, 3rd and beaten when awkward last, weakened flat, 4th of 5, 23l behind Wood Yer (10-13) at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov chs 0-115 (4) gs in Dec.
Triple Bluff 5-1 (10-0) Tracked leader, not fluent 3rd, led after 6th, drew clear from 8th, not fluent 2 out, hit last, easily, won at Taunton 2m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Dec beating Ceepeegee (10-12) by 12l, 10 ran.
Alpha Way (GER) 15-2 (10-8) Led, clear 3rd until 10th, headed approaching 4 out, soon beaten, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Quincy Des Pictons (10-3) at Ludlow 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Dec, 10 ran.