took keen hold, made most until ridden and headed 2 out, weakened and lost 2 places before last
chased leading pair until 3 out, went 3rd again before last, kept on one pace
took keen hold, not fluent, always last, driven and struggling 4 out, tailed off
pressed leader, hit 4th, went left 6th, challenged from next, led 2 out, in command before last, driven out flat
disputed 3rd place, definite 3rd approaching 7th, jumped slowly and lost 3rd soon after 3 out, went 3rd again on inside next, went 2nd before last, head high under pressure and no extra flat
Watergate gained his only hurdling success on this track in March and though well beaten over fences at Plumpton last time the heavy ground was against him and he can do better. Russian Conquest won on firm ground at Leicester last month but wasn't in the same kind of form on a return visit three weeks later. He wouldn't want the ground too soft but the going shouldn't concern the form pick SAWAGO, who easily beat Morestead over 2m2f at Fontwell on Boxing Day but couldn't cope with a longer trip at Lingfield last time. Lady Willa's form figures look reasonable but she's been beaten a long way on all three starts over fences.
Russian Conquest 7-1 (11-8) Tracked leaders, outpaced 4 out, stayed on same pace from next, no impression, 4th of 9, 10l behind Ajzal (11-4) at Leicester 2m nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) gd in Dec.
Border Station (IRE) 17-2 (11-5) Held up in rear, headway 8th, under pressure 3 out, soon no impression, 5th of 6, well behind Sawago (10-13) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp chs 0-105 (4) sft in Dec.
Lady Willa (IRE) 10-1 (9-13) Pressed winner, not fluent 6th, pushed along after 7th, lost 2nd next, soon outpaced and no chance with leading duo, tailed off, last of 3, 37l behind Spear Thistle (11-0) at Plumpton 2m 1f nov chs (3) sft in Dec.
Watergate (IRE) 4-1 (11-5) Prominent, not fluent 6th, lost place approaching 8th, well held after, 6th of 10, 37l behind Time To Think (11-2) at Plumpton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy.
Knock Boy (IRE) 7-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, went close 2nd and still not ridden when bad mistake 2 out, soon demoted to 3rd and beaten, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 9, 7l behind Free Speech (11-7) at Folkestone 2m nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Dec.
Sawago (FR) 6-4fav (11-3) Raced on inside, held up in 5th, hit next, closer order approaching 6th, tracked winner 9th, ridden 2 out, staying on same pace and no impression when switched left flat, 2nd of 6, 4l behind Morestead (11-9) at Lingfield 2m 4f cond hcp hdl 0-105 (4) hvy.