This is a tricky opener as both of the newcomers, Voyage A New York and Plus Jamais, could do better now tackling fences. Trust Thomas and Ubaltique are handicapped to dead-heat on their run together behind Clan William at Newcastle but the former finds little off the bridle. Premier Grand Cru and AMETHYST ROSE both failed to complete last time but the latter was coming to the end of her tether when falling over a longer trip at Kelso. This is her optimum distance so she gets the vote as James Ewart's charge needs further.
Premier Grand Cru (FR) 6-1 (10-9) In touch till blundered and unseated rider 7th, in a race won by Bobcatbilly (10-11) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gs in Dec, 9 ran.
Voyage A New York (FR) 5-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, headway before 4 out, weakened after 2 out, 8th of 11, 43l behind Tikkandemickey (11-5) at Hexham 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) hvy in Nov.
Ubaltique (FR) 9-1 (11-8) Held up in last pair, headway 6th, went 3rd at last, ridden and kept on same pace flat, never troubled front pair, 3rd of 7, 4 1/2l behind Clan William (10-6) at Newcastle 2m nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Trust Thomas 3-1fav (11-2) Mid-division, tracked leading pair 5 out, went 2 out, shaken up after last, soon ridden and one pace, kept on, not reach winner, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Clan William (10-6) at Newcastle 2m nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Plus Jamais (FR) 5-1 (11-12) Tracked leader, led before 3 out, switched left before last, kept on and always held, 2nd of 11, 6l behind Cadore (11-1) at Ayr 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) hvy.
Amethyst Rose (IRE) 6-1 (10-6) Held up in rear in touch, headway to lead after 10th, headed narrowly when fell 2 out, in a race won by Tonvadosa (11-12) at Kelso 2m 7f mares nov hcp chas 0-125 (3) hvy, 5 ran.