Plein Pouvoir was second over 2m4f here earlier this month but was beaten by Goring One on identical terms over a longer trip at Wincanton in December. Tafika was raised 10lb after winning at Leicester but still makes more appeal than Minella Theatre, who only won a seller over hurdles last time, and Imperial Circus who is tried in blinkers after disappointing at Newbury. Barlow still has plenty of scope and could reverse Newbury running with Ringa Bay on more favourable terms but this looks a decent opportunity for CIRCUS OF DREAMS to return to winning ways. He's not exactly consistent and was a long way behind Tafika on his penultimate start but his latest second at Kempton looks the best recent form on offer.
Plein Pouvoir (FR) 10-3fav (10-11) Tracked leader, mistake 5 out, soon outpaced, rallied after 3 out, chased winner approaching last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 6, 9l behind Dashing George (10-6) at Sandown 2m 4f hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy.
Barlow (IRE) 7-1 (11-6) Mid-division, not fluent 3rd, headway approaching 8th, ridden after 3 out, not fluent 2 out, stayed on one pace flat, 4th of 12, 10l behind Loch Ba (11-7) at Newbury 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Jan.
Imperial Circus (IRE) 7-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, pushed along before 12th, went 2nd 13th, ridden and coming under pressure when blundered 17th and soon lost 2nd, weakened to 4th approaching 4 out, 4th of 8, well behind Pete The Feat (11-7) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec.
Ringa Bay 20-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, led when mistake 8th, headed before next, led again when jumped left 10th, headed 2 out, stayed on same pace flat, 3rd of 12, 8l behind Loch Ba (11-7) at Newbury 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Jan.
Blackstaff (IRE) 40-1 (11-1) Held up well in rear, slow 2nd, some headway 9th, poor 6th and struggling from 13th, tailed off when blundered 17th, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Pete The Feat (11-7) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec, 8 ran.
Present To You (IRE) 11-1 (11-0) Mid-division, weakened before 3 out, 8th of 12, well behind Well Refreshed (11-1) at Plumpton 3m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Jan.
Circus of Dreams 66-1 (10-4) Chased leaders, not fluent 3rd, lost place and blundered 14th, rallied on inside 3 out, went 3rd between last 2, kept on flat, went 2nd close home, 2nd of 10, 1 1/4l behind Prince Of Pirates (11-10) at Kempton 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs.
Minella Theatre (IRE) 6-5fav (11-4) Tracked leaders in 4th, led 2 out, clear last, won at Catterick 2m 3f sell (5) sft beating Red Seal (10-7) by 7l, 6 ran.
Tafika 12-1 (10-11) Chased leader, led approaching 4 out, ridden and in command before last, stayed on well, (no time taken), won at Leicester 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy in Dec beating Ballywatt (11-6) by 4 1/2l, 11 ran.
Goring One (IRE) 16-1 (10-4) Led until before 8th where not fluent, led before next, headed when hampered 10th, lost place before 4 out, weakened 2 out, tailed off, 9th of 12, well behind Loch Ba (11-7) at Newbury 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Jan.
Bally Sands (IRE) 11-1 (11-7) Mid-division, ridden and weakened from 12th, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Gorgehous Lliege (10-12) at Towcester 3m hcp ch 0-110 (4) hvy in Jan, 13 ran.