WESTERN GALE has never won back-to-back races and is not the easiest to predict but he looked on really good terms with himself when scoring most decisively at Wetherby recently and there's every chance he'll last out the extra yardage here on this quick ground. If not, then his Wetherby victim, Matmata De Tendron, an out-and-out stayer with a sound course record, looks the most likely beneficiary. Work Boy also merits a place on the shortlist if forgiven his latest effort along with Esme Rides A Gaine, albeit out of the handicap, but effective over ground and trip.
Flying Doctor 25-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear on outer, weakened from 4 out, 9th of 10, well behind Stopped Out (11-12) at Kelso 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd.
Club Class 12-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, slow 8th, soon lost place and struggling, behind when pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Soft Spoken Guy (10-12) at Kelso 3m 1f nov chs (4) gs, 5 ran.
Simply Smashing (IRE) 17-2 (12-1) Held up, jumped slowly 4th, pulled up before 6th, in a race won by Thunder Hawk (11-11) at Hexham 3m 1f hts chs (6) gd, 11 ran.
Work Boy 5-2 (10-11) Tracked leading pair, lost place after 5 out, weakened next, tailed off when pulled up 2 out, in a race won by Stormin Exit (11-12) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Mar, 4 ran.
Western Gale (IRE) 4-1 (10-10) Chased leaders, went 2nd 7th until mistake 9th, stayed in 3rd, left in lead bypassing ommited 11th, stayed on well from 3 out, won at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gf beating Matmata de Tendron (10-1) by 5l, 6 ran.
Deuteronomy (IRE) 15-2 (11-7) Chased leaders, reminders approaching 7th and ran in snatches, reminders before 11th, weakened before next, 7th of 12, 33l behind Festival King (11-1) at Ayr 2m 5f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gd in Jan.
Top Dressing (IRE) 22-1 (11-10) Held up behind, pushed along after 10th, tailed off 3 out, 6th of 8, well behind Blazing Diva (11-6) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp ch 0-110 (4) sft in Mar.
Matmata de Tendron (FR) 13-2 (10-1) Chased leader until 7th, dropped to 4th next, slow 10th, left 2nd bypassing ommited 11th, soon ridden, blundered 5 out, no chance with winner from 3 out, 2nd of 6, 5l behind Western Gale (10-10) at Wetherby 3m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gf.
Esme Rides A Gaine 9-1 (11-2) Led to 2nd, tracked leaders, went 2nd at 11th, led 3 out, clear from next, eased heavily run-in, won at Sedgefield 3m 3f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gf beating Toulouse Express (10-10) by 13l, 6 ran.