A very open look to this novices' handicap but HOHLETHELONELY did nothing wrong in winning comfortably at Kempton last week and comes here without a penalty, so he gets the nod to follow up ahead of Youngstown, Suntini and Gabreselassie. The selection clearly enjoys getting his toe in and gets on well with conditional Ashley Coleman, and he looks to have plenty going for him again today. Youngstown loves plenty of juice in the ground and won over a similar trip at Uttoxeter last time. He looks a decent chaser-in-the-making but may well be capable of picking up a couple more nice prizes over hurdles first and he should be thereabouts today. Suntini returned from a 20 month absence to score at Exeter in December and can improve for that here. Emma Lavelle has given him two months to recover, so hopefully he will avoid the dreaded bounce factor. Silk Affair won a Towcester maiden hurdle last time and has his ground here, but will probably still need to improve to win this and Gabreselassie looks a better proposition. The Old Vic gelding ran well at Fakenham last time and is improving, so with the yard in great form he should go close. Dastardly Dick has plenty of ability but has to contend with the poor form of the Victor Dartnall stable at present, but Troque should not be taken lightly in spite of top weight, given his trainer's superb record on his raids from across the channel. Hohlethelonely is given the nod in a good race.
Troque (FR) 12-1 (11-0) Took keen hold in midfield, not much room and switched right approaching 2 out, chased leaders before last, stayed on same pace flat, 4th of 15, 4l behind Ingratitude (11-9) at Kempton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Dec.
Gabreselassie (IRE) 3-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, ridden to challenge approaching 2 out, kept on same pace, 2nd of 12, 4l behind Princeful (11-5) at Fakenham 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Jan.
Kadouchski (FR) 9-1 (10-13) Mid-division, headway after 5th, hit 2 out, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 13, 4l behind Princess Flame (10-10) at Leicester 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Darstardly Dick (IRE) 5-1 (11-2) Chased leader, led approaching 3 out, ridden and headed 2 out, not quicken, 6th of 8, 5l behind Stradbrook (11-12) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Sangfroid 6-1 (10-10) Prominent, ridden and outpaced after 3 out, stayed on well to go 2nd from last, not reached winner, 2nd of 11, 2l behind White On Black (10-1) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Jan.
Blazing Desert 8-1 (10-12) In touch, ridden and chased leaders 3 out, weakened 2 out, 5th of 13, 22l behind King's Forest (10-9) at Taunton 2m 1f nov hdl (3) gs in Dec.
Youngstown (IRE) 5-2fav (11-3) Always in touch, led after 8th, driven out, won at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) hvy in Jan beating Pelo Du Bief (9-13) by 2l, 19 ran.
Suntini (GER) 5-1 (10-1) Held up last, headway 3rd, led approaching 2 out, driven out flat, won at Exeter 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec beating South O'The Border (11-0) by 3l, 11 ran.
Reblis (FR) 13-2 (11-5) Not always fluent, led until 4th, chased winner until after 3 out, weakened next, 5th of 7, 27l behind Mr Thriller (11-5) at Fontwell 2m 2f 4yo nov hdl (4) sft.
Jean Le Poisson (FR) 12-1 (11-10) Mid-division, headway when blundered badly 6th, behind from next and pulled up 2 out in race won by Wychwoods Legend (11-9) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft in Jan, 19 ran.
That's An Honour (IRE) 25-1 (11-1) In touch, ridden and weakening when not fluent 2 out, 4th of 12, 20l behind Kilvergan Boy (11-4) at Towcester 2m nov hdl (3) sft in Jan.
Northern Lad (IRE) 100-1 (11-1) Led until 5th, mistake 3 out, soon ridden, weakened before next, 8th of 16, 30l behind Ainama (11-4) at Kempton 2m nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Quelclasse (FR) 7-1 (10-2) Mid-division, headway 7th, ridden and weakened 3 out, 5th of 10, 33l behind Toby Belch (10-12) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gf in May.
Hohlethelonely 6-1 (10-9) Raced wide, rear of mid-division, headway under pressure and hanging after 3 out, led and went right 2 out, hanging right but came clear when hit last, won at Kempton 2m cnd hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft beating Viscount Rossini (10-7) by 8l, 12 r.
Wise Men Say (IRE) 8-1 (10-4) Tracked leader, led after 5th until 3 out, ridden to lead next, hard pressed and stayed on gamely from last, driven out, won at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft beating Widely Accepted (11-6) by 1 1/2l, 14 ran.
Silk Affair (IRE) 4-6fav (10-4) Held up towards rear, headway 5th, went 2nd after 2 out, led last, soon clear, easily, won at Towcester 2m 3f mdn hdl (4) hvy in Jan beating Gouranga (11-2) by 11l, 8 ran.