Vicente, placed in bumpers and over hurdles in France, looked a very tricky ride when long odds-on for his UK debut at Wincanton. He wears a hood here in an attempt to cure his wayward tendencies but might be a risky opposition at a short price. Ampleforth is gradually getting his act together and the return to a longer trip should help but Tara Road didn't show much on his hurdles bow at Ascot and may need more time. EASTERN WITNESS wasn't unduly punished at Exeter having travelled strongly turning for home. That was an encouraging start under Rules and Venetia Williams' winning pointer can reward connections' patience here.
Ampleforth 6-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, ridden before 2 out, in 3rd and held when left 2nd last, no impression on winner, 2nd of 11, 6l behind Pink Gin (11-4) at Towcester 2m mdn hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Billeragh Milan (IRE) 5-1 (12-0) Chsd ldrs, 4th 6out, 5th 3out, prog 2out, 3rd when landed faster last, ko best up to line, 3rd of 9, 18l behind Timjoe (12-0) at Dawstown 3m ire ptp gd in May.
Eastern Witness (IRE) 18-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, pushed along before 3 out, weakened before next, 6th of 11, 31l behind Tagrita (10-7) at Exeter 2m 7f mdn hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Island Cruise (IRE) 100-1 (10-12) Chased leaders to before 7th, soon behind, tailed off when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Mountain Tunes (11-5) at Towcester 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec, 11 ran.
Modeligo (IRE) 150-1 (10-5) Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, not fluent 1st, always behind, last of 9, well behind Ballyalton (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m 1f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gd in Dec.
Tara Road 4-1 (11-0) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd 4 out until well before 2 out, soon weakened and eased, mistakes final 2, tailed off, 5th of 9, 46l behind Royal Boy (11-0) at Ascot 2m 6f NH mdn hdl (3) sft in Dec.
Vicente (FR) 1-3fav (10-12) Awkward prior to start, raced wide and tended to jump left, took keen hold, led 1st and set steady pace, went left and hit 2nd, joined when went left 2 out, soon hung right, headed between last 2, weakened before last, 4th of 6, 10l behind Minellaforleisure (10-12) at Wincanton 2m nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Oscar's Pet (IRE) 66-1 (10-10) Held up in rear, weakened before 2 out, 6th of 7, 44l behind Carole's Spirit (11-2) at Newbury 2m 5f mares NH nov hdl (3) gs in Nov.