The handicapper has taken Sky Calling to task after recent wins over fences and hurdles and this is a bit more competitive than the races he usually contests. Easy Uttoxeter winner Digital Media is another upped in grade, while War Party is 12lb higher than when last successful over fences at Sedgefield in November. Sunday City has been out of sorts since returning from his winter break and Quito Du Tresor's confidence may need rebuilding so a chance is taken on EXULTO. Philip Hobbs' gelding has undoubtedly fallen below expectations so far over fences but still has time on his side and is learning with experience. It's interesting that his trainer is still going down the handicap route with the six-year-old and he's preferred to last month's C&D second and front-runner Diamond Frontier.
Quito Du Tresor (FR) 5-1 (11-4) Mid-division, headway and in touch after 6th, outpaced approaching 2 out, kept on same pace, no impression, 5th of 8, 11l behind Degas Art (11-4) at Perth 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gf.
Ela Re 13-2 (10-12) Led, hit 3rd, headed before 3 out, soon weakened, last of 6, 34l behind Rushwee (10-11) at Wetherby 2m 4f sell hdl (5) gd in May.
Sunday City (JPN) 12-1 (10-9) Chased leader, led 5th, headed after 2 out, soon lost 2nd, weakened before last, 8th of 10, 29l behind Rebel Du Maquis (11-9) at Stratford 2m 5f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gd in May.
Diamond Frontier (IRE) 15-2 (11-10) Led from 1st, headed before 4 out, ridden before 3 out, soon weakened, last of 7, 38l behind Categorical (11-12) at Newcastle 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Mar.
Kikos (FR) 4-1 (10-7) Led until after 4th, pressed leader, not fluent 8th, hit 3 out, led again approaching last where mistake, headed last strides, 2nd of 7, nk behind Alderley Rover (11-12) at Aintree 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in May.
War Party 5-4fav (11-12) Tracked leaders on inner, chased leader approaching 2 out, in 2nd and held when left in lead last, kept on, won at Sedgefield 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in May beating Dream Risk (10-13) by 3 1/2l, 5 ran.
Exulto (IRE) 11-2 (10-5) Behind, headway to 4th 3 out, went 3rd after next, disputing 2nd and no impression on winner when left 2nd last, 2nd of 8, 7l behind Marley Roca (10-8) at Stratford 2m 1f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in May.
Sky Calling 8-11fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, led 3 out, ridden before last, kept on, driven out, won at Southwell 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in May beating Apache Dawn (10-12) by 1l, 9 ran.
Digital Media (IRE) 9-4 (10-3) Tracked leaders, closed 3 out, soon led, clear next, stayed on well, won at Uttoxeter 2m hcp chs 0-105 (4) gf in May beating My Condor (11-0) by 27l, 5 ran.