Tim Fitzgerald doesn't have too many runners these days and Symphonick almost managed to slip under the radar at Hexham on his first run under Rules for some time. Bittersweetheart ran out a comfortable winner of a maiden here and the mare will be competitive in receipt of an allowance but it might not be enough to see off THUNDER SHEIK. His victory over course and distance was given a boost earlier in the week as the second dotted up at Newton Abbot, and the five-year-old can rattle up a quick hat-trick for connections. Purple 'n Gold makes a hurdling debut and should have few fitness worries as he had a recent pipe-opener at Nottingham. Former David Wachman inmate, The Lodge Road lost his way on the Flat but is nevertheless respected from an incredibly shrewd outfit.
Thunder Sheik (IRE) 3-1 (10-12) Always prominent, led after 3 out, headed next, soon led again, clear before last, stayed on well, won at Uttoxeter 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Jun beating Lyssio (11-5) by 4 1/2l, 12 ran.
Bittersweetheart 7-1 (10-7) Not fluent 1st, tracked leaders, went 2nd after 3 out, challenged last, soon led, ridden and kept on flat, won at Uttoxeter 2m NH mdn hdl (5) gf in Jun beating Dr Dalwhinny (10-11) by 3 1/2l, 9 ran.
Gavi 80-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, weakened from 4 out, 5th of 6, well behind Cool Macavity (11-5) at Worcester 2m nh nov hdl (4) gf in Jun.
Symphonick (FR) 22-1 (10-12) Led, ridden and headed before last, soon every chance and rallied, kept on run-in, held towards finish, 2nd of 11, 1 1/4l behind Howwoulduno (10-12) at Hexham 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Jun.
The Lodge Road (IRE) 33-1 (8-11) Held up in rear, headway over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, no impression, 4th of 7, 15l behind Mankini (9-1) at Doncaster 1m 4f hcp 0-70 (5) gf (flat).
Purple 'n Gold (IRE) 20-1 (9-5) Held up, headway over 2f out, switched right inside final furlong, stayed on same pace, 4th of 7, 2 1/4l behind Take Two (10-0) at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) gf (flat).
Hardwick Bay 250-1 (10-8) Mid-division, ridden over 4f out, weakened over 3f out, 11th of 12, well behind Karazhan (11-4) at Wolverhampton 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan.