Pure Science has been a big disappointment over hurdles so far considering he looked a decent prospect in bumpers. He dropped away tamely at Towcester last time and a drop in distance may not be the answer. Gate Please is starting to run out of chances and is another who has been campaigned over further but Filatore was only beaten a neck by It's A Doddle over course and distance in December and should be thereabouts again. COMTE D'ANJOU beat the useful Vibrato Valtat in an Exeter bumper last season and ran a lot better than the final result suggests on his hurdling debut at Sandown. There should be more to come and he could be a bit of value in this opener.
Bar A Mine (FR) 13-8fav (11-0) Held up in mid-division, headway 6f out, ridden over 4f out, weakened over 1f out, 4th of 11, 16l behind Justanother Muddle (11-0) at Chepstow 2m NH flat (5) hvy in Dec.
Comte D'anjou 25-1 (10-12) Led, pushed along when jinked left and headed approaching 2 out, mistake and weakened 2 out, 6th of 9, 30l behind Vaniteux (10-12) at Sandown 2m nov hdl (3) gs in Dec.
Filatore (IRE) 11-1 (10-12) Led narrowly, headed 4th, in touch, 3rd and outpaced when wandered after last (usual 2 out), rallied approaching bypassed last, led again inside final furlong, kept on, headed final strides, 2nd of 14, nk behind It's A Doddle (10-12) at Ffos Las 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Gate Please (IRE) 7-1 (11-6) Tracked leading pair, joined leader after 4th, led next, driven and hard pressed between last 2, headed last, no chance with front pair flat, lost 3rd near finish, 4th of 9, 10l behind Society Shares (10-8) at Ffos Las 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec.
Horatio Hornblower (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, left 2nd after 7th, every chance 2 out, soon ridden, 3rd and one pace approaching last, 3rd of 9, 6l behind The Romford Pele (10-9) at Chepstow 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec '12.
Kagouillot (FR) (8-5) 6th of 12, 4l behind Sophiskal Javilex (8-2) at Guerlesquin(FR) 1m 4f 3yo & 4yo mdn gd in Jul '12 (flat).
Pure Science (IRE) 5-2 (11-4) Held up towards rear, soon with leader, ridden before 2 out, weakened soon after, 5th of 9, 23l behind Oscar Prairie (10-8) at Towcester 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Shays River (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Slightly hampered 4th, always behind, tailed off 4 out, pulled up soon after, in a race won by Rayvin Black (10-9) at Ludlow 2m mdn hdl (4) gd in Apr, 14 ran.
Wicklewood 7-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders, outpaced after 3 out, 7th when mistake 2 out, kept on flat, 5th of 14, 6l behind Seaside Shuffle (11-4) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl (3yo+) (5) gd in Dec.