Mansonien L'As beat Esme Rides A Gaine over 3m3f at Sedgefield in May but hasn't raced since. The runner-up was pulled up on a return visit to the Durham track shortly afterwards and is another returning from a break while C&D winner Almond Court also has an absence to overcome. BILLSGREY only weakened at the last when second over C&D on his reappearance. Third in this last year off a 10lb higher mark, he can finally end his losing run today as Samson Collonges is racing from 7lb out of the handicap.
Esme Rides A Gaine 5-1 (10-9) In rear, pushed along and weakened 12th, tailed off and pulled up before 5 out, in a race won by Ballyvoneen (10-13) at Sedgefield 3m 3f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gf in May, 9 ran.
Mansonien L'as (FR) 5-1 (10-4) Held up mid-division, headway 16th, went 2nd 3 out, led before 2 out, ridden clear before last, kept on well, won at Sedgefield 3m 3f hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in May beating Esme Rides A Gaine (11-5) by 3l, 9 ran.
Billsgrey (IRE) 7-2 (10-10) Chased leaders, led 3rd, slow 2 out, soon strongly challenged, headed last, no extra closing stages, 2nd of 5, 3 1/2l behind Cilliseal (11-5) at Hexham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-95 (5) hvy in Oct.
Almond Court (IRE) 20-1 (10-5) Led to before 5th, tracked leader until before 4 out, weakened from next, 3rd of 6, well behind Rival D'estruval (11-12) at Hexham 3m nov hdl (4) gd in Mar.
Samson Collonges (FR) 9-2 (9-11) Behind, headway and in touch 6th, pecked 11th, blundered next, soon lost place, went 3rd 14th, soon no chance with front pair, tailed off, 3rd of 6, well behind Bob Will (9-12) at Newcastle 3m hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Oct.