Valid Reason's Ascot win was franked when runner-up Deireadh Re landed a Grade 2 at Cheltenham last week. Dean Ivory's four-year-old can continue on an upward curve and will make a bold bid to defy his penalty here but may find the concession of 7lb to TONY DINOZZO just beyond him. The latter would have made hot favourite Ballyclough pull out all the stops on his hurdling debut at Folkestone had he not tried to take the last flight by the roots. This longer trip is very much in his favour and he looks a nice prospect. Porgy disappointed at Fontwell but Minella Humour should continue to thrive now he's joined Oliver Sherwood and a market move here for newcomer Jasperito would have to be taken seriously. Fiveways was a decent bumper horse and will have needed the run at Uttoxeter - he's also worth noting for future reference.
Minella Humour (IRE) 4-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, briefly led before 2 out where slightly slow, no extra in 3rd and kept on same pace approaching last, 3rd of 7, 5l behind Best Served Cold (11-12) at Wexford 3m nh nov hdl sft in Oct.
Valid Reason 12-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, led 5th, joined last, ridden and stayed on gamely to assert flat, won at Ascot 2m 6f nh nov hdl (2) gd in Nov beating Deireadh Re (11-3) by 1 3/4l, 6 ran.
Alpha Victor (IRE) 28-1 (10-9) Not fluent and behind, lost touch 4 out, tailed off, 6th of 9, well behind Rival D'estruval (10-12) at Cartmel 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) gd in May.
Black Cache (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) In touch in rear, ridden 11th, weakened 4 out, behind next, tailed off, 4th of 5, well behind Mush Mir (11-5) at Fakenham 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Castle Conflict (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Prominent, hit 4 out, weakened soon after, 7th of 17, 20l behind So Fine (11-5) at Warwick 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Cloudy Bob (IRE) 125-1 (10-12) Tracked leader to 3rd, remained in touch, chased leading pair under pressure before 2 out, soon ridden and weakened, 3rd of 10, 37l behind Lovcen (10-9) at Towcester 2m 5f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gd in Nov.
Emperor's Choice (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, mistake and lost place 4th, behind from 7th, tailed off, 7th of 10, well behind Lovcen (10-9) at Towcester 2m 5f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gd in Nov.
Fiveways (IRE) 6-1 (10-12) Mid-division, outpaced 4 out, weakened before next, 9th of 14, well behind Rose Of The Moon (10-7) at Uttoxeter 3m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Gotoyourplay (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Close up, 4th when hit 11th, weakened 4 out, beaten when blundered 2 out, 4th of 8, 29l behind Fin Vin De Leu (10-12) at Taunton 2m 7f beg chase (4) gs in Mar.
Great Gusto (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) In rear, not fluent, moved into 8th approaching 3 out, never any chance, soon weakened, tailed off, 6th of 13, well behind Highland Lodge (10-12) at Exeter 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Jasperito Bollin Eric gelding out of Tamergale.
Porgy 4-1 (10-12) Raced widest of all, held up in rear, effort after 3 out, head high and found nil under pressure before last, weakened, 5th of 8, 22l behind Financial Climate (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
The Disco Kid (IRE) 50-1 (10-7) Took keen hold, held up in touch in rear on outside, not fluent, behind from 5th, tailed off, last of 6, well behind Spirit Is Needed (11-0) at Bangor 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gd in Aug.
Tony Dinozzo (FR) 3-1 (10-11) Took keen hold, prominent, not fluent 3rd challenging when not fluent 2 out, headed when not fluent last, edged left flat, stayed on same pace, lost 2nd post, 3rd of 5, 2 1/4l behind Ballyclough (11-0) at Folkestone 2m 1f NH Maiden Hurdle (4-6yo) (5) gd in Nov.
Total Rebellion (IRE) 50-1 (10-12) Tracked leader until hit 5th, mistake 7th, outpaced 4 out, weakened before next, 11th of 14, well behind Rose Of The Moon (10-7) at Uttoxeter 3m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
You're So Special (FR) 50-1 (11-0) Chased leaders 10f, behind final 5f, tailed off, last of 14, well behind Population (11-2) at Ascot 2m NH flat (6) gd in Nov.