There were only two finishers when Spanish Arch won at Market Rasen in December. He's only 2lb higher but the fitting of blinkers isn't a positive sign. Newbury winner Saroque couldn't cope with a higher mark at Plumpton last month but attacks his fences and should be suited by this track. He's preferred to Toby Lerone and the disappointing Pistol. REGAL ONE might be worth an interest having dropped a couple of pounds by the handicapper who would have been placed at Leicester in December had he not fallen at the last and he looks better treated than the majority of his rivals.
Toby Lerone (IRE) 11-2 (11-1) Led until 2nd, chased leader until 9th, led 11th until next, chased leaders, led again 4 out, joined 3 out, headed well before next, weakened 2 out, 4th of 9, 21l behind King Edmund (11-12) at Kempton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Jan.
Castle Conflict (IRE) 7-2 (11-2) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 6th until 12th, chased leaders, weakened next, losing touch when blundered 4 out, jumped right after, tailed off and pulled up before last, in a race won by Saroque (10-8) at Newbury 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec, 6 ran.
Pistol (IRE) 9-4 (10-9) Tracked leaders on inside, not fluent 5 out, went 3rd 3 out, soon ridden and one pace, no impression from next, 3rd of 5, 11l behind Yesyoucan (11-7) at Wetherby 2m 4f nov chs (4) sft in Jan.
Saroque (IRE) 7-4fav (11-3) Slight lead, narrowly headed 5th, chased winner, mistake 3 out (normal 4 out), driven and no impression soon after, lost 2nd approaching last, 3rd of 7, 18l behind No Buts (10-12) at Plumpton 2m 4f nov hcp chs (0-125) (3) hvy in Jan.
Spanish Arch (IRE) 11-4 (10-9) Tracked leader, left in lead at 3rd, hit 7th, hung left and headed briefly bend before next, joined 8th, ridden and asserted 2 out, driven out, won at Market Rasen 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec beating Shockingtimes (11-1) by 1 1/4l, 5 ran.
Regal One (IRE) 8-1 (10-13) Held up in rear, headway approaching 8th, went 3rd after 3 out, well held by front pair from after next, lost 3rd close home, 4th of 6, 22l behind Tresor De Bontee (10-11) at Uttoxeter 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Dec.
Gandalfe (FR) 7-1 (10-10) Tracked winner early, ridden and weakened from 3 out, 5th of 7, 37l behind Workbench (10-9) at Taunton 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Nov.
According To Them (IRE) 80-1 (9-11) Held up behind, headway before 11th, weakened and pulled up before 13th, tailed off, in a race won by Reblis (10-13) at Plumpton 3m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan, 9 ran.