Kings Lodge jumped much better at Fontwell than in previous attempts over fences and won quite comfortably in the end. But this looks a hot novices' handicap with De Blacksmith the type to thrive over the larger obstacles and useful hurdler Loose Chips potentially well treated. UXIZANDRE was last seen finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Sefton Hurdle at Aintree in April. Given breeding and connections, it will be a surprise if he doesn't feature prominently in some of the season's big novice races and this looks a good starting point. Barlow has already had seven runs over fences but, though showing glimpses of form, it will be a surprise if he's good enough to win this.
Loose Chips 80-1 (11-2) Led to after 3rd, led again after next, headed 4 out, lost place next, soon weakened, tailed off, 23rd of 28, well behind Medinas (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Mar.
Uxizandre (FR) 16-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, raced freely, headway after 7th, not fluent 4 out, hung left and outpaced from after 3 out, jumped left 2 out, weakened last, 5th of 9, 20l behind At Fishers Cross (11-4) at Aintree 3m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Apr.
Kings Lodge 5-2 (11-4) Close up, led 6th, headed 9th, led before 4 out, clear before last, eased towards finish, won at Fontwell 2m 6f nov chs (4) gd beating Ski Sunday (11-4) by 6l, 6 ran.
De Blacksmith (IRE) 20-1 (11-10) Led until hit 5th and headed, chased leader until ridden before 7th, lost place and towards ear, when clipped heels on landing and fell 3 out, in a race won by Kenai Peninsula (11-7) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Apr, 14 ran.
Barlow (IRE) 2-1fav (10-12) Jumped slightly left at times, led, not fluent 3rd, mistake 16th, headed 3 out, not fluent 2 out, weakened flat, 3rd of 4, 12l behind Seven Woods (10-12) at Wincanton 3m 1f nov chs (4) gs in May.