After beating Home Run by eight lengths at Sandown in December, SAPHIR DU RHEU had the Pipe inmate even further behind when storming to an impressive victory in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton and it's difficult seeing the latter reversing the form here. Paul Nicholls' grey is a very smart performer over this intermediate distance and can land the hat-trick with Harry Derham again claiming a valuable 5lb. Whisper returned to winning ways at Newbury but was more than nine lengths behind the selection at Sandown earlier. He does enjoy a 21lb turnaround in the weights, however, and must be a threat in the colours of local owner Dai Walters. Grand Vision and Alaivan both ran well on heavy going last time and Awaywiththegreys won at Chepstow, though has more on his plate in this.
Saphir Du Rheu (FR) 6-1 (11-7) Held up in mid-division, smooth headway and tracking leaders when stumbled badly 4 out, led before 2 out, clear before last, stayed on strongly, easily, won at Kempton 2m 5f Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Jan beating If In Doubt (10-13) by 6l, 13 ran.
Whisper (FR) 13-8fav (11-8) Chased leader, ridden to challenge when not much room on stand's rail 2 out, soon led, ridden clear before last, mistake last, driven out, won at Newbury 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec beating Pateese (11-0) by 7l, 5 ran.
Grand Vision (IRE) 12-1 (10-11) Soon tracking leaders, outpaced 4 out, rallied to chase winner 2 out, no impression flat, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 12, 2 3/4l behind Uncle Jimmy (10-1) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Jan.
Awaywiththegreys (IRE) 12-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, went 2nd from after 7th, driven to challenge approaching last, led flat, held on, won at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) hvy in Dec beating Ugly Bug (10-7) by nk, 10 ran.
Alaivan (IRE) 10-1 (11-7) Chased leaders, went 2nd before 2 out, ridden and lost 2nd before last, kept on to regain 2nd towards finish, 2nd of 15, 3 1/2l behind Quick Decisson (10-12) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Swnymor (IRE) 7-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, headway to mid-division approaching 4 out, tracking leaders going well 3 out, ridden and weakened tamely before next, 7th of 10, 31l behind Lyvius (11-4) at Kempton 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) sft in Jan.
Home Run (GER) 12-1 (10-4) Held up towards rear, headway after 4 out, weakened after next, tailed off, 7th of 13, well behind Saphir Du Rheu (11-7) at Kempton 2m 5f Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Jan.