made all, clear after 3rd until came up early and dragged hind legs through 4th, went clear again after next, still 5 lengths up last, edged right before drifting left to rail, reduced lead but never looked liked being caught
not fluent in rear, niggled along after 4th, ridden after 4 out, mistake 2 out, hanging left and switched right before last, stayed on flat, went 4th towards finish, almost took 3rd close home
Precious Cargo and Sofia's Rock are both upped in class have shown progressive form at a lower level and can’t be dismissed out of hand. Little separated Felix Desjy and Aramon in the Supreme Novices’ but both have something to find with third Itchy Feet. Southfield Stone won the Grade 2 Dovecote at Kempton in February but that form wouldn’t be good enough in this. Winston C did well to win a competitive handicap at Kelso last month and has taken well to hurdles but this is easily his toughest task to date. ROUGE VIF might be a bit of value as he jumped much better last time at Kelso. An earlier second to Mister Fisher at Kempton, when conceding 5lb, was a very good effort and he’s been racing under the radar since.
Aramon (GER) 8-1 (11-7) Towards rear, headway to chase leaders 3 out, 3rd turning in, one pace before last, soon lost place, well held flat, 6th of 16, 11 1/4l behind Klassical Dream (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m (1) sft in Mar.
Felix Desjy (FR) 11-1 (11-7) Behind, headway into mid-division on outside after 2nd, went 2nd approaching 2 out, ridden between last 2, one pace and no impression when mistake last, soon lost place, well held flat, lost 4th final stride, 5th of 16, 11l behind Klassical Dream (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m (1) sft in Mar.
Itchy Feet (FR) 25-1 (11-7) Mid-division, outpaced 2 out, rallied between last 2, went left and hit last, soon ridden, stayed on to press for 2nd flat, no impression with winner, 3rd of 16, 5l behind Klassical Dream (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m (1) sft in Mar.
Precious Cargo (IRE) 1-2fav (11-7) Took keen hold, held up in 7th, closer after 3rd, tracked leaders before 3 out, 2nd going well before 2 out, led between last 2, clear before last, stayed on strongly, won at Sandown 2m (4) sft in Mar beating Rose Sea Has (10-13) by 8l, 10 ran.
Rouge Vif (FR) 7-2 (11-1) Made all, clear approaching last, easily, won at Kelso 2m 2f (1) gs in Mar beating Windsor Avenue (11-1) by 4l, 6 ran.
Southfield Stone 6-1 (11-2) Led until 2nd, led again 3 out, 2 lengths ahead 2 out, ridden before blundered last, hung left run-in, stayed on, won at Kempton 2m (1) gd in Feb beating Angels Breath (11-7) by 3/4l, 7 ran.
Winston C (IRE) 9-2fav (11-12) Held up in rear, blundered 2nd, pushed along in last after 3 out, soon back on bridle, not fluent 2 out, headway when not clear run approaching last, bumped but soon got through, switched right flat, ran on, led post, won at Kelso 2m hcp (2) gd in Mar beating Champagne City (11-11) by ns, 12 ran.
Sofia's Rock (FR) 15-8 (11-6) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, led before 5th, clear when went right 3 out and 2 out, landed a bit awkwardly last, eased towards finish, won at Ludlow 2m (4) gs in Mar beating Good Man Jim (11-6) by 13l, 10 ran.