A tricky start to a competitive card. Kilrush has been in decent form, winning at Fontwell before going close at Warwick. But he's gone up another 7lb and Old Tricks was still beaten 10 lengths when second over course and distance three weeks ago. Joe Tizzard also seems to prefer the chances of stablemate Xaarcet. Kilmurvy has been harshly raised in the weights since his third at Ascot and Weather Babe's second to Highland Retreat in a Listed race at Kempton has done her mark few favours, though she has developed into a decent mare. MINELLAHALFCENTURY won a novice event over track and trip just under a year ago and was having his first start since when sixth at Chepstow in November. The form of that race has worked out well and, as he has more scope than these, Paul Nicholls' charge gets the nod. Jack By The Hedge and Tolkeins Tango may be best of the rest.
Whisky Yankee (IRE) 8-1 (11-12) Held up in rear of mid-division, dropped to rear approaching 5th, never on terms after, plugged on, 7th of 12, 27l behind Bygones Sovereign (10-8) at Ascot 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Dec.
Kilmurvy (IRE) 11-2 (11-6) Raced wide, held up towards rear, headway on outside after 3 out, chasing leaders and mistake 2 out, kept on to 3rd before the last, no chance with leading duo, 3rd of 12, 10l behind Bygones Sovereign (10-8) at Ascot 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Dec.
Weather Babe 12-1 (10-12) Soon settled in 3rd tracking clear leading pair, pushed along approaching 8th, lost 3rd 4 out, went 3rd again next, closed and disputing 2nd 2 out, narrow 2nd under pressure between last 2, hit last, stayed on flat, always held, 2nd of 5, 1l behind Highland Retreat (10-12) at Kempton 3m mrs hdl (listed) (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Old Tricks (IRE) 25-1 (10-0) In touch, headway and effort approaching 2 out, one paced when left 2nd last, 2nd of 8, 10l behind Champagne West (10-2) at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec.
Minellahalfcentury (IRE) 11-2 (11-7) Chased leaders, every chance before and mistake 4 out, weakened 3 out, 6th of 13, 40l behind Minella For Steak (11-5) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) hvy in Nov.
Jack By The Hedge 14-1 (11-5) Led, not fluent 5th, headed 4 out, outpaced before 3 out, kept on from last, 3rd of 9, 22l behind Captain Cutter (10-12) at Kempton 2m 5f nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Kilrush (IRE) 10-1 (11-4) Held up and behind, mistakes 1st and 6th, headway approaching 3 out, went 2nd well before next, challenged and hit last, every chance and stayed on flat, just held, 2nd of 9, nk behind Gunna Be A Devil (11-3) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft in Dec.
Halifax (IRE) 50-1 (11-1) Mid-division, outpaced before 3 out, stayed on approaching last, never dangerous, 6th of 10, 21l behind Fergall (11-4) at Huntingdon 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Dec.
Barton Stacey (IRE) 7-1 (11-6) Last pair, pushed along in modest 7th after 3 out, soon struggling and never on terms, last of 9, well behind Dreamsoftheatre (11-9) at Kempton 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Nov.
Xaarcet (IRE) 5-1 (10-9) In touch, jumped slowly 4th, dropped to last after 7th, closed before next, reminder 11th, weakened after 13th, pulled up before 5 out, in a race won by Hansupfordetroit (11-0) at Chepstow 3m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy in Dec, 6 ran.
Tolkeins Tango (IRE) 15-2 (11-5) Held up in mid-division, headway approaching 7th, every chance 3 out, stayed on same pace last, 3rd of 9, 7l behind Di Kaprio (11-6) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Dec.
Westaway (IRE) 33-1 (11-7) Chased leaders, led 9th, headed and hung right approaching and not fluent 2 out, chased leaders, weakened between last 2, 5th of 14, 18l behind Josies Orders (11-6) at Ascot 3m nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Golanova 4-1 (11-9) Tracked leader until after 2nd, chased leading pair, went 2nd again 4 out, hit next, ridden along before 2 out, lost 2nd 2 out, kept on same pace and no impression in 3rd, hit last, 3rd of 7, 5l behind Tealissio (11-2) at Lingfield 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) hvy in Nov.
Bravo Bravo 20-1 (10-4) Tracked leaders, reminder after 5th, soon lost place and in rear, tailed off, pulled up, in a race won by Bally Legend (11-12) at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Oct, 10 ran.
Bob Tucker (IRE) 14-1 (10-11) Chased leaders, went 2nd after 3 out, led approaching 2 out, ridden edged left and headed before last, chased winner, held when mistake last, soon lost 2nd and dropped to 4th, rallied under pressure to regain 2nd final strides, 3rd of 14, 6l behind Josies Orders (11-6) at Ascot 3m nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Green Hackle (IRE) 25-1 (11-7) Not fluent, tracked leaders, lost place from 1st, mistake 6th, behind from next, tailed off, last of 10, well behind Staccato Valtat (10-6) at Bangor 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Apr.