This race looks to revolve around the two fascinating French recruits SIR DU BEARN and Nadiya De La Vega. Both arrive on these shores having raced exclusively at Pau and their efforts there appear closely matched. We'll side with the Nicholls-trained runner though as the winner of the second division of a maiden hurdle whose first went to Triumph Hurdle winner Soldatino, the pair stopping the clock in a similar time. He's been given time by his trainer who evidently thinks quite a bit of him and conditions look to suit. In receipt of the fillies' allowance Nadiya De La Vega is a big threat for the Million In Mind syndicate having been described as a 'lovely, powerful filly' and perhaps the market will help more than any study of their French achievements can. Sergeant Pink looked very unlucky to lose his race in the Stewards' room at Huntingdon but even a repeat is likely to fall just short while Shalimar Fromentro is the type his trainer excels with but this is an above-average contest.
Gilded Age 16-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders, jumped right 1st, every chance 3 out, faded before last, 8th of 11, 17l behind Tocca Ferro (10-2) at Ascot 2m Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Oct.
Sergeant Pink (IRE) 12-1 (10-7) Held up, left close 3rd 6th, went 2nd after 3 out, ridden to challenge when mistake last, soon led and hung right, leant on rival therafter, ridden out, finished 1st, demoted to 2nd, in a race won by Harry Tricker (11-7) at Huntingdon 2m nov chs (3) gs, 4 ran.
Shalimar Fromentro (FR) 16-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, weakened from 5 out, 5th of 8, 40l behind Silviniaco Conti (11-7) at Chepstow 2m 4f nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Oct.
Sir Du Bearn (FR) (10-5) won at Pau(FR) 2m 1f hdl in Jan beating Sadoum Ludois (10-5) by 1l, 13 ran.
Nadiya De La Vega (FR) 15-2 (10-7) 2nd of 9, 2l behind Saying Again (10-10) at Pau(FR) 2m 3f hdl sft in Feb.