Hold On Julio never quite got on terms with the winner when runner-up at Kempton last month in a novice hurdle. He's well treated on his best form over fences but Seymour Eric has a 10lb rise to cope with after landing a hat-trick at Huntingdon last week and is also upped in class. Mauricetheathlete is another taking on tougher opposition and Sixty Something was well beaten in this grade last time. Nagpur will need to be at his best on his first start since May and a chance is taken on stablemate QUARTZ DE THAIX as Venetia Williams' charge had been in good form over fences prior to falling at Cheltenham last month.
Quartz de Thaix (FR) 9-1 (11-4) Mistakes, soon towards rear, struggling 11th, no impression when fell 15th, in a race won by Cape Tribulation (11-6) at Cheltenham 3m 1f chs Grd 2 (1) hvy in Jan, 10 ran.
Bouggler 18-1 (10-11) Chased leaders, hit 5th, mistake 3 out, weakened before next, 8th of 9, 24l behind African Gold (10-0) at Newbury 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec.
Knock A Hand (IRE) 11-1 (11-6) In touch, ridden 8th, soon lost place and behind, tailed off, 14th of 18, well behind Master Of The Sea (10-11) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) sft.
Nagpur (FR) 12-1 (10-11) Always towards rear, 8th of 18, 21l behind American Spin (10-13) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) sft in May.
Hold On Julio (IRE) 5-2fav (11-2) Held up in last trio but in touch, blundered 3rd, not fluent next, headway to chase leaders 7th, led briefly approaching 3 out, chased winner soon after, 3 lengths down and ridden when mistake 2 out, kept on flat, always held, 2nd of 8, 2 3/4l behind Cloudy Copper (11-8) at Kempton 3m nh nov hdl (3) sft in Jan.
Sixty Something (FR) 9-2 (11-2) Held up in last, hit 6th, not fluent 4 out, never in contention with leaders, 5th of 8, 30l behind Storm Survivor (9-10) at Doncaster 3m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) sft in Dec.
Florafern 7-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, mistake 3rd, outpaced 4 out, stayed on approaching last, never nearer, 5th of 10, 16l behind Kentford Grey Lady (11-12) at Sandown 2m 4f Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-135) (4yo+) (3) sft in Dec.
Seymour Eric 6-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 2 out, mistake last, led flat, stayed on well, won at Huntingdon 3m 2f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gs beating Promised Wings (11-7) by 2 1/4l, 17 ran.
Mauricetheathlete (IRE) 7-2 (10-12) Chased leaders, pushed along 5 out, led before 4 out, pressed 2 out, ridden before last, held on well, won at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) hvy in Jan beating Always Bold (10-13) by 2 1/2l, 12 ran.