ASTIGOS is turned out again quickly after a much-improved second to Top Wood at Haydock last week. Providing that hasn't taken too much out of him, Venetia Williams' gelding should go one better here. The danger may be the unexposed Thomas Junior, who has been crying out for a longer trip, though Virginia Ash seems to have rediscovered some of his old zest lately and will ensure this is run at a good pace. The latter's stablemate Old Tricks isn't badly handicapped and could sneak into a place but the remainder are either out of sorts are returning from a break, which may be a disadvantage on the heavy ground.
Old Tricks (IRE) 25-1 (10-0) With leader, mistake 7th, ridden and weakened 2 out, 6th of 12, 30l behind Fingal Bay (11-7) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl (2) hvy.
Astigos (FR) 11-2 (10-8) Held up in touch, chased winner before 5 out, challenged went bumped winner 2 out, kept on and held towards finish, 2nd of 13, 1 1/2l behind Top Wood (11-7) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy.
Lundy Sky 14-1 (11-4) Led to 5 out, soon pushed along and weakened, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Billy Dutton (10-11) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Apr, 12 ran.
Decimus (IRE) 3-1 (11-12) Never going in last pair, reminders and struggling with circuit to go, soon tailed off, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Milosam (10-1) at Taunton 2m 7f nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) hvy in Dec, 8 ran.
Virginia Ash (IRE) 9-1 (10-2) Led until after 2nd, chased leader, led again after 5th until next, chased leaders, ridden and weakened soon after 3 out, tailed off, 5th of 10, 27l behind Upswing (11-1) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) hvy.
Pyleigh Lass 50-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, ridden and lost place over 4f out, 11th of 16, 13l behind Pass Muster (11-1) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std in Jan.
Storm Alert 9-1 (10-4) Held up, headway 2 out, never dangerous, 6th of 13, 22l behind Cyrien Star (10-2) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Nov.
Thomas Junior (FR) 4-1 (11-4) Tracked leader, not fluent 5th, led when not fluent 3 out, ridden and headed before next, soon beaten, lost 2nd towards finish, 3rd of 14, 12l behind Milo Man (11-11) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Paddy The Oscar (IRE) 16-1 (10-5) With leader, led 2nd, headed approaching 2 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 4th of 11, 45l behind Toubeera (11-12) at Exeter 2m 5f nov hdl (4) hvy.