STAGECOACH PEARL makes plenty of appeal. He stood little chance behind Master Minded at Ascot last time and ran accordingly, but had scored at Kelso on his reappearance before that with today's rival Sa Suffit back in second. Last year's winning form at Haydock saw him beat Tara Royal and Sue Smith's chaser looks to have leading claims back in handicap company today. Diamond Frontier scored over C&D last time but this is much tougher and Silk Drum as shown nothing so far this season.
Stagecoach Pearl 12-1 (11-5) Jumped left, led, headed 11th, weakened 13th, jumped badly left 4 out, tailed off, 5th of 6, well behind Master Minded (11-11) at Ascot 2m 3f Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Sa Suffit (FR) 7-1 (11-12) With leader, led 3rd to 9th, led again next, headed 3 out, ridden last, lost 2nd flat, kept on same pace, no impression with leading pair final 200 yards, 3rd of 12, 8l behind Always Right (11-3) at Kelso 2m 6f hcp chs (2) sft.
Silk Drum (IRE) 12-1 (11-7) Led until 7th, ridden after 9th, weakened 4 out, tailed off, 4th of 5, well behind Nadiya De La Vega (11-0) at Haydock 2m grad ch (2) gd in Nov.
Pret A Thou (FR) 20-1 (11-2) With leader, pushed along before 4 out, soon lost place and pulled up, in a race won by Bally Legend (11-9) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Nov, 12 ran.
Tara Royal 4-1 (11-8) Held up towards rear, headway when fell 8th, in a race won by King Edmund (11-7) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp chs 0-140 (3) sft, 10 ran.
Diamond Frontier (IRE) 11-8fav (11-3) Led, ridden and headed before last, regained lead flat, kept on gamely under pressure, held on near finish, won at Wetherby 2m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs beating Shadrack (11-0) by shd, 4 ran.
Charingworth (IRE) 13-2 (10-5) Held up mid-division, pushed along and blundered 4 out, soon weakened, last of 12, 30l behind Quicuyo (11-10) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs.