Soft ground and a thorough test of stamina bring out the best in CARMELA MARIA, as Mike Sowerby's mare proved over C&D 10 days ago when beaten Our Jim by five lengths with Royal Deal a well-beaten fourth. She has a 7lb penalty to overcome today but is worth following now she's back in the groove. Neither Danceintothelight nor Over And Above have shown enough lately to merit serious consideration and the returning Runswick Relax may just need this but Rowan Road arrives off the back of an easy win over 3m3f at Kelso and should be in the mix again.
Runswick Relax 6-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, not always fluent, lost place 4th, soon given reminder, closed after next, no impression 2 out, weakened flat, 4th of 9, 14l behind Papamoa (10-6) at Perth 3m nov hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Apr.
Royal Deal 11-4fav (11-6) Mid-division, effort 3 out, soon outpaced, stayed on after last, never able to challenge, modest 4th, 4th of 10, 30l behind Carmela Maria (9-12) at Catterick 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft.
Danceintothelight 6-1 (11-1) Mid-division, jumped right 2nd, not fluent 7th, no extra 2 out, 6th of 16, 19l behind Rear Admiral (11-1) at Catterick 2m 3f con hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gs.
Our Jim 33-1 (10-10) Led, hard ridden when blundered last, headed flat, no extra, 2nd of 10, 5l behind Carmela Maria (9-12) at Catterick 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft.
Over And Above (IRE) 20-1 (10-10) Always towards rear, 4th of 5, well behind Papamoa (11-3) at Hexham 3m 1f beg chs (4) sft in Nov.
Carmela Maria 4-1 (9-12) Mid-division, headway before 2 out, led after last, stayed on well (1 hurdle ommited), won at Catterick 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft beating Our Jim (10-10) by 5l, 10 ran.
Whatdoidowiththat 5-1 (11-1) Towards rear, headway under pressure after 3 out, weakened next, 9th of 10, well behind Overyou (11-5) at Hexham 3m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gd in Oct '11.
Sea Cliff (IRE) 33-1 (11-4) Mid-division, jumped right 5th, headway approaching next, jumped slowly and lost place 7th, tailed off, 9th of 13, well behind Black Mac (11-2) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec '11.
Gilzean (IRE) 50-1 (10-9) Held up towards rear, pushed along before 4 out, soon weakened, 5th of 8, well behind Abruzzi (10-6) at Towcester 2m 3f 4yo nov stks (4) sft.
Nisaal (IRE) 25-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, lost place 3rd and in rear, some headway before last, soon weakened, 6th of 8, 44l behind Livvy Inn (11-5) at Hexham 2m hcp hdl 0-95 (4) sft in Nov.
Rowan Road 9-2 (10-0) Led until after 1st, chased leader until 3rd, went 2nd again 7th, hit next, challenged 3 out, led before next, hit last, driven and stayed on flat, won at Kelso 3m 3f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft beating Almond Court (9-7) by 8l, 6 ran.
Shannina 25-1 (10-8) Close up, ridden and lost place 5th, weakened 2 out, 6th of 11, 35l behind Me Fein (10-1) at Fakenham 2m 4f sll hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gs in Nov.