led, headed 5th, tracked leader, ridden before 2 out, soon weakened
mid-division, headway before 3 out, weakened before 2 out
held up towards rear, headway before 4 out, every chance last, kept on and held towards finish
in touch, headway 5 out, challenged 4 out, ridden and weakened before next
close up, ridden and weakened before 3 out
towards rear, headway before 6th, weakened before 3 out
always behind, weakened before 4 out
chased leaders, led 7th, headed 3 out, weakened from last
always behind, weakened before 4 out, tailed off
mid-division, headway before 5 out, challenged 2 out, ridden to lead run-in, kept on towards finish
mid-division, headway before 6th, led 3 out, ridden before last, headed run-in, no extra towards finish
close up, led and not fluent 5th, headed 7th, soon weakened, tailed off, pulled up
The handicapper has given a chance to both Sartorial Elegance and Albert D'olivate but the former is hard to catch right and the latter showed little reverting to hurdles in February. Kilmurvy hasn't run over hurdles since early in 2015 while Clondaw Bisto is still winless over timber. But Present Times made steady progress last season, winning at Towcester and Carlisle, and Trans Express is back on his favourite course after a fair fifth at Cheltenham. Midnight Request beat FORGETTHESMALLTALK by more than four lengths over track and trip last month but the latter is now 4lb better off and may have benefited more from the run. He can reverse placings today and land this.
Midnight Request 16-1 (11-12) Tracked leader, led 4 out, pressed from 2 out, kept on well towards finish, won at Exeter 2m 7f hcp (4) gs in Oct beating Waterloo Warrior (11-11) by 2 3/4l, 11 ran.
What A Diva 12-1 (11-13) Pulled hard tracking leaders, weakened 3 out, 11th of 16, 11 3/4l behind Thehossbehind (10-7) at Ludlow 2m 5f hcp (4) gs in Apr.
Forgetthesmalltalk (IRE) 5-1 (11-9) Held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, went 3rd from 2 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 11, 4 1/4l behind Midnight Request (11-12) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp (4) gs in Oct.
Banco De Logos (FR) 11-2 (11-2) Led, mistake 5th, headed after 3 out, weakened next, 4th of 8, 28 1/2l behind Winningtry (11-2) at Wincanton 2m 4f mdn (4) gs in Mar.
Sartorial Elegance 10-1 (11-4) Mid-division, headway 4 out to chase leaders, weakened before 3 out, pulled up before 2 out, at Exeter 3m hcp (3) gs in Oct.
Trans Express (IRE) 11-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders, challenged 3 out, lost place when ridden after next, kept on same pace, 5th of 21, 16 1/2l behind Master Dancer (10-12) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp (3) gd in Oct.
Kilmurvy (IRE) 7-2 (11-9) Held up in rear, hit 2nd, slow 13th, headway before next, mistake 2 out, no impression on winner last, went 2nd close home, 2nd of 8, 6l behind Thomas Wild (11-12) at Stratford 3m 4f hcp (3) gd in May.
Albert D'Olivate (FR) 7-1 (11-6) Always behind, never on terms, 7th of 12, 23 1/2l behind Zero Grand (11-9) at Exeter 2m 7f hcp (4) gs in Feb.
Aero Majestic (IRE) 100-1 (10-12) Behind, headway after 3 out, chased leaders next, never able to challenge, 5th of 15, 18 1/4l behind Smaoineamh Alainn (10-11) at Wincanton 1m 7f (4) gd in Oct.
Present Times (IRE) 4-6fav (11-11) Tracked leading pair, pushed along and outpaced after 3 out, shaken up and closed approaching 2 out, led between last 2, clear last, stayed on strongly, eased towards finish, won at Carlisle 2m 1f hcp (4) hvy in Mar beating Charmant (11-12) by 7l, 3 ran.
Clondaw Bisto (IRE) 9-4fav (10-7) In rear, reminder after 10th, headway before 3 out, no extra from last, soon lost 3rd place, 4th of 8, 8 1/2l behind Oh Land Abloom (11-12) at Plumpton 3m 1f hcp (3) gs in Oct.
Shoofly Milly (IRE) 14-1 (11-6) Led to 4 out, soon weakened, pulled up, at Exeter 2m 7f hcp (4) gs in Oct.