POULANASSY followed up his victory at Sedgefield with a hard-fought success over the strongly fancied Captain Bocelli over this course and distance where the third, who is rated 115, was beaten 15l off levels. A mark of 118 may prove lenient for his handicap debut and a hat-trick beckons. Tomkevi had plenty of success in France and was having just his third start for new connections when battling to a narrow victory at Haydock. He's still only five so should have more to offer and looks a threat. Desert Cry has gone off the boil in his last couple of starts though in very much better class than this. He's on his lowest mark for a very long time and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back. Forest Bihan has been highly tries since arriving from France with winning form and showed at Doncaster last time that his turn will come soon.
Forest Bihan (FR) 7-2 (11-7) Tracked leaders, ridden before 2 out, kept on from last, 4th of 7, 3 1/4l behind Minstrels Gallery (10-3) at Doncaster 2m 1f hcp (2) hvy in Dec.
Desert Cry (IRE) 10-1 (11-10) Held up behind, tracked leaders 4 out, outpaced in 4th when not fluent next, left modest 3rd before last, weakened flat, 4th of 8, 35 1/2l behind Yes Tom (10-7) at Ayr 2m 5f hcp (2) hvy in Jan.
Driftashore (IRE) 13-2 (11-5) Took keen hold tracking leading pair, tracked winner 2nd until before 4th, 2nd again next until pushed along 3 out, soon outpaced and lost touch with leading duo, 3rd of 4, 30l behind Hunt Ball (10-13) at Fakenham 3m (3) gd in May.
Poulanassy (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Led to before 6th, tracked leader, outpaced when not fluent 2 out, rallied and 1 length down last, ridden to lead narrowly flat, kept on towards finish, won at Catterick 2m 3f (4) sft in Dec beating Captain Bocelli (10-12) by 1 1/4l, 9 ran.
Tomkevi (FR) 7-1 (11-5) Held up in touch, progress to chase leaders 4 out, led before next, hard driven when strongly challenged after last, all out, just held on, won at Haydock 2m 3f hcp (4) hvy in Dec beating Hainan (11-6) by nk, 6 ran.
Egmont 14-1 (10-8) Towards rear, plugging on and no impression when mistake 2 out, 7th of 14, dist behind Amuse Me (11-0) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp (4) gd in Oct.