Kells Belle won Listed races at Sandown and Cheltenham early last year and though her jumping has let her down this season she should go close to recapturing the winning thread. Her stablemate Ma Filleule has finished runner-up in two Listed contests after scoring at Haydock in November and should be thereabouts along with Irish raider Mae's Choice, a Grade 3 winner at Punchestown last April. Alasi, a close fourth behind Quevega at Cheltenham last year, was engaged at Kempton yesterday but would be a threat if taking her place but it's last season's Lanzarote Hurdle winner SWINCOMBE FLAME, who has let supporters down on several occasions this term, who is given the nod to come good. She is back over a more suitable distance and was in good form around this time last year.
Alasi 20-1 (11-8) Held up in 4th, closed 3 out, pushed along and chased winner approaching 2 out, soon every chance, held soon after last, no extra flat, 2nd of 5, 1 3/4l behind Une Artiste (11-8) at Sandown 2m 4f mrs lst hdl (1) hvy in Jan.
Kauto Shiny (FR) (10-7) 2nd of 11, 2 1/2l behind Unique Des Sources (10-10) at Enghien(FR) 2m 2f 4yo hdl sft in Oct.
Kells Belle (IRE) 15-2 (11-8) Chased leader until before 2nd, stayed in 3rd, closed 3 out, ridden disputing 2nd before 2 out until 2 out, driven and no impression when no extra in 4th between last 2, 4th of 5, 7l behind Une Artiste (11-8) at Sandown 2m 4f mrs lst hdl (1) hvy in Jan.
Mae's Choice (IRE) 4-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, led and disputed from 6th, led after 3 out, joined next, soon ridden, headed after last, kept on same pace in 3rd run-in, 3rd of 10, 3 1/2l behind Charlie's Vic (11-0) at Naas 2m 3f mrs beg chs in Jan.
Kaffie 6-1 (11-2) Made most until 3 out, weakened before next, soon pulled up, in a race won by Tweedledrum (9-7) at Kempton 3m mrs hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec, 9 ran.
Ma Filleule (FR) 4-6fav (11-2) Tracked leading pair, effort to challenge on inside approaching 2 out, ridden and every chance flat, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 6, 2 1/4l behind Mischievous Milly (11-2) at Taunton 2m 1f Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed) (3yo+) (1) hvy in Dec.
Silver Gypsy (IRE) 16-1 (11-6) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, ridden before next, went 2nd flat, stayed on, 2nd of 9, 3/4l behind Tweedledrum (9-7) at Kempton 3m mrs hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec.
Swincombe Flame 5-2fav (11-6) Tracked leaders, challenged 6th, led 3 out, headed before next, mistake last, one pace, 3rd of 9, 3 1/2l behind Tweedledrum (9-7) at Kempton 3m mrs hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec.
Tempest River (IRE) 15-2 (11-2) Mid-division, headway after 9th, not fluent 3 out, soon weakened and pulled up, in a race won by Tweedledrum (9-7) at Kempton 3m mrs hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec, 9 ran.