David Pipe has his horses in tremendous form and though the maiden Presenting Ace has to make his handicap debut with a big weight he's been competing in decent company. Hoback Junction has had very little racing since completing a double two years ago while Union Island has been out of form on Fibresand at Southwell after scoring on the Flat at Catterick in August. D'Gigi landed a maiden at Musselburgh in November on good ground and ran well enough on her return to action at Sedgefield a couple of weeks ago to have a chance but ROYAL ENTOURAGE was such an easy winner when completing a hat-trick at Catterick that even a massive 14lb rise in the weights shouldn't be enough to halt his progress.
Presenting Ace (IRE) 7-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, ridden before 2 out, never dangerous, 12th of 18, well behind Ambion Wood (11-12) at Sandown 2m 4f NH Novice Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (4-7yo) (1) gs.
Hoback Junction (IRE) 14-1 (11-5) Chased leaders, went 2nd 4 out, every chance 2 out, no extra in 3rd approaching last, 3rd of 8, 5l behind Headly's Bridge (11-4) at Towcester 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs.
Union Island (IRE) 18-1 (11-4) Held up in mid-division, headway over 5f out, outpaced by leaders final 3f, 4th of 14, 19l behind Abergavenny (11-4) at Southwell 2m n h flat (6) std in Feb.
D'Gigi 3-1fav (11-5) Raced wide, held up towards rear, hampered 1st, headway to chase leaders next, bumped 5th, ridden approaching 3 out, stayed on same pace in 4th before next, went modest 3rd post, 3rd of 11, 10l behind Prima Porta (11-5) at Sedgefield 2m 4f mrs nov hdl (4) gd.
Royal Entourage 11-8fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, led 6th, ridden clear after 2 out, eased run-in, won at Catterick 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gs beating Andy Vic (11-2) by 10l, 6 ran.