Silver Phoenix will be all the better for his run over hurdles at Worcester last month and it's interesting that Caroline Keevil has opted to plunge him straight into handicaps. Legends Lass should lack nothing in fitness having won at Newton Abbot in June but Bardolet, Oponce and Hever Road are all making the seasonal reappearance, though the former did make a successful return to action over timber around this time last year. DONT TELL SAILOR was the subject of a gamble over hurdles at Hexham last Saturday and only found Overyou two lengths too good. A winning pointer, the switch to fences could bring about further improvement and he gets a tentative vote today.
Nautical Approach (IRE) 13-2 (10-11) Tracked leader to 2nd, lost place from 5th, weakened from 4 out, pulled up before 3 out, tailed off, in a race won by Gentleman Anshan (10-13) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in May, 6 ran.
Bardolet (IRE) 4-6fav (11-8) Raced in 4th and well off the pace, went modest 3rd 11th, ridden and not on terms with leading duo 3 out, plugged on, never going pace to get involved, 3rd of 5, 20l behind Kercabellec (9-7) at Huntingdon 3m hcp chs 0-100 (4) gd in Mar.
Silver Phoenix 14-1 (11-8) Held up towards rear, headway on outside before 9th, weakened approaching 3 out, tailed off, 8th of 17, well behind Only Witness (11-2) at Worcester 3m hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gd in Sep.
Dont Tell Sailor (IRE) 4-1 (11-5) In touch, headway approaching 2 out, every chance approaching last, kept on, 2nd of 10, 2l behind Overyou (11-5) at Hexham 3m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gd.
Legends Lass 13-2 (11-9) Held up, headway after 6th, went 2nd 12th, not fluent 3 out, soon led, headed next, hung left and no extra when blundered last, 6th of 11, 20l behind Crystal Prince (11-0) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd in Sep.
Oponce (FR) 9-2 (11-9) Close 4th, challenged 14th, hit next, led after 3 out headed well before next, dropped to 3rd soon after, soon no chance with leading duo, 3rd of 6, 34l behind Ilewin Tom (10-0) at Folkestone 3m 1f hcp chs 0-90 (5) gd in Feb.
Hever Road (IRE) 16-1 (10-1) Prominent, lost place 9th, hampered 11th, rallied after 14th, weakened after 2 out, 4th of 10, 18l behind Antonius Caesar (11-3) at Leicester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-100 (4) gd in Jan.
Mr Ironman 25-1 (9-11) Prominent, challenged 6th, not fluent 9th, ridden after 10th, not fluent and weakened 12th, tailed off, 5th of 8, well behind Colditz (10-2) at Uttoxeter 2m 5f hcp 0-100 (5) gf.