Phase Shift has already posted two good efforts behind Tender Surprise in similar contests at Uttoxeter this month and another competitive effort is anticipated whereas Fearless Leader has shown little in the past 10 months, including when backed into favouritism for a Uttoxeter seller latest. However, if BYRON BLUE, an Irish import for Mark Gillard, can reproduce the level of his recent third to Good Of Luck in a Class 4 Newton Abbot hurdle, he'd be the one to beat. He'd previously run well in a seller here on his first outing for those new connections. However, a close eye must be kept on Oscars Way, placed in three bumpers before tailing off on hurdling debut at Warwick last December. Not seen since, he represents an exceptionally shrewd yard and is of great interest dropped into this grade. He requires a careful market check.
Byron Blue (IRE) 12-1 (11-8) Chased leader, went left 2nd, led 3 out, pressed when went left again and headed 2 out, hung left under pressure between last 2, dropped to 3rd and held when not much room before last, 3rd of 9, 8l behind Good of Luck (11-5) at Newton Abbot 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gf.
Evergreen Forest (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Held up in touch in mid-division, jumped right 1st, weakened after 3 out, mistake 2 out, tailed off, 6th of 8, well behind Billy No Name (11-0) at Wincanton 2m 6f mdn hdl (5) gd in Oct.
Fearless Leader 9-4fav (10-9) Tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd before 3 out until before 2 out, weakened before last, 4th of 6, 13l behind Debt To Society (10-12) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f cnd/am sll hdl (5) gd in Jun.
Oscars Way (IRE) 20-1 (10-9) In touch, ridden 5 out, soon weakened, 13th of 18, well behind Champagne West (11-0) at Warwick 2m 5f mdn hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Demood (IRE) 16-1 (10-10) Held up, badly hampered 3rd, never on terms after, tailed off, 5th of 8, well behind Ebony Empress (10-10) at Newton Abbot 2m 6f mrs nov hdl (4) gd.
Phase Shift 2-1 (10-13) With leader, led 5 out, headed before 2 out, kept on same pace from last, 3rd of 5, 4 1/2l behind Tender Surprise (10-7) at Uttoxeter 2m sll hdl (5) gd.