Oscarslad finally came good at Wincanton last month but has to defy a 10lb higher mark this afternoon and may struggle. Soulard won a three-runner race on fast ground over C&D in October but hasn't been seen since and more interesting is Teenage Kicks, who will also like the ground and had Counting House behind when a fair second to Rossmore Lad at Towcester just over three weeks ago. IMPERIAL CIRCUS wasn't punished once his chance had gone at Ascot last time and is taking on lesser opposition today. Still lightly-raced, Philip Hobbs' charge can recapture the winning thread.
Al Co (FR) 25-1 (11-12) Mid-division, headway on outside halfway, soon weakened, 11th of 13, well behind Golden Call (11-5) at Bangor 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Mar.
Imperial Circus (IRE) 5-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders early, held up in touch, hit 8th, outpaced 10th, rallied approaching 2 out, no impression on front pair when taking 3rd flat, lost 2 places towards finish, 5th of 16, 15l behind Kasbadali (11-0) at Ascot 3m cnd hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd.
Teenage Kicks (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Held up, mistake and bumped 4th, headway 8th, chased winner after 3 out, well held from next, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 8, 7l behind Rossmore Lad (11-9) at Towcester 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Mar.
Counting House (IRE) 9-2 (11-12) Held up in rear, headway 9th, went 3rd after 2 out, stayed on same pace, not able to challenge, 3rd of 8, 9l behind Rossmore Lad (11-9) at Towcester 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Mar.
Supreme de Paille (IRE) 40-1 (11-4) Held up behind, outpaced 4 out, never dangerous, 9th of 11, 30l behind Lava Lamp (11-2) at Ffos Las 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Mar.
Soulard (USA) 1-9fav (10-11) Made all, mistake 8th, shaken up approaching 2 out, clear before last, stayed on, won at Exeter 2m 7f am nov hdl (4) fm in Oct beating Knight Blaze (10-10) by 17l, 3 ran.
Oscarslad (IRE) 6-1 (11-0) Held up, headway from 6th, not fluent 3 out, went 2nd before next, led flat, stayed on, won at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gs in Mar beating Black Phantom (11-6) by 1 1/4l, 8 ran.
Orvita (FR) 33-1 (11-5) Awkward 1st, held up in last pair, hit 4th, never on terms, 7th of 8, 34l behind Oscar Davy (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 6f nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.