Countrywide Flame had GRUMETI, Dodging Bullets and Sadler's Risk behind when springing a surprise in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. Pearl Swan was in touch when falling and also re-opposes and John Quinn's gelding, who has already had a busy season, may struggle to confirm the placings though did beat subsequent Doncaster scorer Eagle Rock on soft ground at Sedgefield in the autumn. Alan King's charge, third in the Triumph, gets the vote to turn the tables as he may well have won at Cheltenham had he not made a couple of errors at crucial times and his trainer sent out Walkon to win this race in 2009 after he'd been beaten at The Festival. Hinterland and Lyvius both by-passed the Triumph and the latter probably still has some scope, though he has a lot to find to overturn Newbury running with Gottany O'S who has since being beaten in modest company at Hexham.
Bradbury (IRE) 13-2 (11-4) Held up mid-division, headway after 3 out, went 3rd before last, chased winner run-in, kept on, 2nd of 11, 2l behind Beyeh (10-0) at Stratford 2m 4yo hdl (3) gd in Mar.
Countrywide Flame 33-1 (11-0) In touch, outpaced in 10th 2 out, driven when not much room between last 2, soon chased leaders on inside, challenged when hit last, soon led, ridden and stayed on well flat, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar beating Hisaabaat (11-0) by 3l, 20 ran.
Dodging Bullets 20-1 (11-0) Mid-division, headway 3 out, chased leaders next, challenged and every chance approaching last, kept on flat, no extra towards finish, 4th of 20, 4l behind Countrywide Flame (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Eagle Rock (IRE) 15-8 (10-12) Always prominent, led after 4 out, hard driven when strongly challenged closing stages, just held on, won at Doncaster 2m 4yo hdl (4) gd in Feb beating Kian's Delight (10-12) by hd, 14 ran.
Gottany O's 1-3fav (10-13) Led, ridden and headed before last, soon weakened, 3rd of 10, 9l behind Guess Again (11-0) at Hexham 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Mar.
Grumeti 5-1fav (11-0) Mid-division, hit 5th, headway 3 out, chased leaders under pressure next, stayed on to lead before when hit last, soon ridden and headed, kept on same pace, lost 2nd towards finish, 3rd of 20, 4l behind Countrywide Flame (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Hinterland (FR) 15-8fav (10-11) Held up mid-division, effort after 2 out, chased leaders last, ridden and kept on flat, no impression, 3rd of 14, 5l behind Module (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan.
Kapga De Cerisy (FR) 25-1 (11-6) Mid-division on outside, headway 4 out, ridden and struggling before 2 out, 11th of 24, 16l behind Une Artiste (10-8) at Cheltenham 2m 4yo nov hcp hdl Grd 3 (1) gd in Mar.
Lyvius 1-9fav (10-13) Held up in last pair, good headway 5th, went 2nd before 3 out, led on bit 2 out, clear before last, not extended, won at Warwick 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Mar beating Beggar's Velvet (11-0) by 5l, 6 ran.
Pearl Swan (FR) 7-1 (11-0) Mid-division, dropped towards rear 2nd, reminders after next, soon struggling, 18th 2 out, headway under pressure between last 2, 7th and staying on when fell, last, in a race won by Countrywide Flame (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar, 20 ran.
Sadler's Risk (IRE) 13-2 (11-0) Led, ridden and headed between last 2, kept on same pace, no impression last, 6th of 20, 9l behind Countrywide Flame (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gd in Mar.
Zarzal (IRE) 33-1 (10-7) Held up last, went 4th well before 2 out, ridden and no chance with leading duo when left modest 3rd next, 3rd of 6, 23l behind Grumeti (11-0) at Kempton 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Feb.
Beyeh (IRE) 18-1 (10-0) In touch, went 2nd after 3 out, led before 2 out, kept on, ridden out, won at Stratford 2m 4yo hdl (3) gd in Mar beating Bradbury (11-4) by 2l, 11 ran.