held up towards rear, soon in rear, weakened before 3 out, tailed off, pulled up
held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, soon went 2nd, led after last, soon ridden, kept on and headed towards finish
tracked leaders, ridden before 2 out, kept on from last
mid-division, ridden before 2 out, soon weakened
led and soon clear until 3 out, ridden and headed after last, kept on same pace
held up in rear, headway before 2 out, ridden run-in, kept on to lead towards finish
tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd from 3rd, weakening when hit 3 out
Aristo Du Plessis likes to be prominent and beat Avidity at Ayr in October. But he's been raised 13lb since following up easily at Musselburgh, which may foil the hat-trick bid. Qewy was placed in a Grade 2 at Aintree in the spring but both runs this term have been over fences. Ifandbutwhynot alternates between hurdles and fences but was third in the Scottish Champion Hurdle in April, though hasn't been seen since. Sgt Reckless has some very smart form over hurdles but is another who has been chasing lately, with mixed results. PEARL CASTLE could be worth an interest if allowed to start at decent odds. He won a couple of novice events around here at the start of last year and arrives off the back of a decent campaign on the Flat in which he was placed at Hamilton and Haydock – he's not badly treated back over timber. Forest Bihan is preferred to Regulation and the one-paced Boss Des Mottes of the others.
Ifandbutwhynot (IRE) 20-1 (10-5) Towards rear, headway before 4 out, chased leaders before 3 out, went 3rd before last, kept on and always held by leading pair, 3rd of 14, 2 3/4l behind Cheltenian (10-13) at Ayr 2m hcp (1) gd in Apr.
Qewy (IRE) 5-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, went 2nd from 7th until before 4 out, pushed along before and left 2nd 3 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 19l behind Vaniteux (11-0) at Kempton 2m (4) gs in Nov.
Forest Bihan (FR) 13-2 (11-7) Held up towards rear, hampered 4th, no headway from 2 out, 6th of 11, 17 1/4l behind Winner Massagot (10-4) at Ascot 2m hcp (2) sft in Nov.
Regulation (IRE) 25-1 (9-10) Mid-division, ridden 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, never on terms, 6th of 9, 8 3/4l behind Oceanographer (9-3) at Kempton 1m 3f hcp (3) pol in Dec.
Chieftain's Choice (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Keen led, headed 6th, in rear next, pulled up 4 out, at Bangor 2m 4f hcp (2) sft in Nov.
Minstrels Gallery (IRE) 4-1 (11-8) Last pair, modest 4th 3 out, never involved, 4th of 6, 31 1/2l behind Sirop De Menthe (11-1) at Lingfield 2m 3f hcp (3) hvy in Nov.
Silver Duke (IRE) 22-1 (11-5) In rear, 4th when hit 3 out, no impression, 4th of 5, 27 1/4l behind Aristo Du Plessis (11-12) at Musselburgh 2m hcp (3) gd in Nov.
Aristo Du Plessis (FR) Evensfav (11-12) Made all, soon clear, unchallenged, won at Musselburgh 2m hcp (3) gd in Nov beating Space Ship (11-6) by 12l, 5 ran.
Sgt Reckless 9-2jfav (11-8) Chased leaders, mistake 6th, pushed along after 3 out, 4th when blundered and weakened next, 7th of 12, dist behind Cold March (11-4) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp lst (1) gd in Oct.
Pearl Castle (IRE) 33-1 (8-10) Close up, ridden over 2f out, kept on same pace from over 1f out, 7th of 22, 16 1/2l behind Litigant (9-10) at Doncaster 1m 4f hcp (2) hvy in Nov.
Avidity 12-1 (11-8) Held up mid-division, weakened from 4 out, tailed off, pulled up, at Haydock 2m 3f hcp (2) sft in Nov.
Boss Des Mottes (FR) 4-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, challenged 2 out, every chance last, kept on same pace, 3rd of 6, 3 1/2l behind Baron Alco (11-10) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp (3) sft in Nov.