ANCIENT TIMES has been upped 11lb for his recent victory over track and trip but may not have finished improving yet. He won over hurdles at Ayr earlier last month and the hat-trick beckons in this company. Pen Gwen posted a better effort at Catterick in December and makes more appeal than Milan Royale and Murrell, who both failed to complete the same race at Wetherby last time. Pistol Basc has a second at the same track to his credit and may be the one to chase the selection home.
Milan Royale 28-1 (10-12) Held up, brought down 2nd, in a race won by Marie Des Anges (10-3) at Wetherby 2m 4f nov chs 0-110 (4) sft in Feb, 11 ran.
Ancient Times (USA) 5-2fav (9-12) Led, clear from 3 out, ridden before next, stayed on well, won at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp chs 0-100 (5) gs in Feb beating Domoly (10-4) by 6l, 8 ran.
Pistol Basc (FR) 3-1 (9-13) Chased leaders, left in 2nd at 7th, led 9th, headed approaching 4 out, soon weakened, 4th of 6, 20l behind Billy Cuckoo (11-2) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft in Nov.
Murrell (IRE) 150-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, hampered 3rd, well behind when hampered and unseated rider 5 out, in a race won by Marie Des Anges (10-3) at Wetherby 2m 4f nov chs 0-110 (4) sft in Feb, 11 ran.
Pen Gwen (FR) 16-1 (9-7) In touch, ridden 8th, soon lost place, rallied 3 out, stayed on well to go 2nd closing stages, no chance with winner, 2nd of 12, 12l behind Brave Spartacus (10-13) at Catterick 2m 3f hcp 0-100 (5) gs in Dec.