Valco De Touzaine raced much too freely on his chasing bow at Newton Abbot and will need to settle better to make an impression in this higher grade. Fair Trade has plenty of speed so it will be interesting to see how he takes to fences. He may prefer a faster surface so we'll stick with CLARET CLOAK, who jumped well when scoring in modest company at Towcester. It's A Gimme has ability but rather lost his way over hurdles in the spring and is probably best watched until showing signs of a revival. Dartford Warbler made his chasing debut in a decent race at Uttoxeter but was soon beaten and is a pound out of the handicap here.
Claret Cloak (IRE) 1-3fav (11-3) Tracked leaders in 3rd, every chance 3 out, led before 2 out, clear before last, won at Towcester 2m nov chs (4) gf in Oct beating Dont Take Me Alive (10-7) by 14l, 7 ran.
It's A Gimme (IRE) 25-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, outpaced approaching 2 out, soon weakened, pulled up before last, in a race won by Ted Veale (10-6) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl G3 (1) gs in Mar, 28 ran.
Fair Trade 9-4 (11-5) Mid-division, tracked leaders approaching 3 out, challenged on inside next, ridden between last 2, stayed on to lead narrowly near finish, won at Kempton 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in May beating Seventh Sky (11-5) by hd, 8 ran.
Valco De Touzaine (FR) 8-11fav (10-7) Took keen hold, chased winner, closed 4th, pushed along after 3 out, riden after 2 out, no impression, beaten when not fluent last, 2nd of 5, 5l behind Ivor's King (11-4) at Newton Abbot 2m nov chs (4) gs in Sep.
Dartford Warbler (IRE) 11-1 (11-4) Held up in 4th, outpaced 5 out, weakened next, tailed off, 5th of 6, 41l behind Le Bec (11-4) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f beg chs (4) gs in Oct.