After a fair run at Cheltenham, Manyriverstocross managed to hold on at Ascot despite racing with the throttle out. He's clearly useful but has another 6lb to carry here. Desert Cry was well out of his depth in the Game Spirit at Newbury last time but doesn't look an easy ride and is giving weight to less-exposed chasers in this. Upsilon Bleu is proving difficult to place while His Excellency never seems to run two races alike, though has ability. Le Bacardy and Back To Balloo were due to run in a novices' handicap here yesterday so this can go to VALCO DE TOUZAINE. He also had an entry in the novices' chase on today's card but Paul Nicholls obviously believes the five-year-old has a better chance in this and he's certain to be suited by the better ground.
Desert Cry (IRE) 4-1 (11-6) Tended to jump left, always last, reminder and outpaced after 8th (4 out), no chance after, tailed off when went badly left 2 out and last, last of 4, 32l behind Module (11-2) at Newbury 2m 1f chs Grd 2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Manyriverstocross (IRE) 10-3fav (11-7) Raced freely tracking leaders, led approaching 2 out, soon challenged, held on well, won at Ascot 2m 1f nov chs (2) gd in Mar beating Bellenos (11-3) by shd, 11 ran.
Valco De Touzaine (FR) 3-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden and one pace before 2 out, 3rd of 5, 38l behind Balder Succes (11-7) at Warwick 2m nov chs G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Upsilon Bleu (FR) 14-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, led before 2 out, ridden and headed before last, kept on and every chance run-in, just held close home, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Runswick Royal (11-3) at Kelso 2m 2f hdl (2) gs in Feb.
His Excellency (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Mid-division, headway after 3 out, outpaced next, soon ridden, beaten when hampered last, 14th of 23, 32l behind Savello (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Mar.
Le Bacardy (FR) 6-4fav (11-11) Chased leaders on outside, went 2nd soon after 4 out, led approaching next, clear 2 out, kept on well, easily, won at Taunton 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd beating Overclear (11-11) by 14l, 5 ran.
Stormy Weather (FR) 8-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway before 4 out, weakened before 3 out, 5th of 7, well behind Satanic Beat (10-12) at Newcastle 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Mar.
Back To Balloo (IRE) 9-4fav (11-12) Tracked leaders on inner, slight mistakes 1st and 2nd, went 2nd from 4th, ridden in 2nd entering straight, no impression on winner after 2 out, kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 9, 17l behind Miley Shah (11-12) at Naas 2m beg chase sft in Mar.