Paul Nicholls has clearly had training troubles with French import SIR DU BEARN as the gelding has only seen the racecourse three times in the past two years, just twice for the Ditcheat operation. Nevertheless, the champion trainer appears to have found the ideal target for his gelding who looks the one to be on here granted a clear round as the opposition looks decidedly low-key. Admittedly, he was tailed off on his reappearance in a hot Ascot handicap hurdle but it is difficult to search out a viable alternative on the formbook. Gunna Sound pulled up behind Swincombe Flame last time but showed promise behind Fox Appeal on his hurdling debut and looks the sort to do much better over fences, whilst Cuckoo Pen had shown bits and pieces of form over hurdles but may need this run after a lengthy absence.
Cuckoo Pen 4-1 (11-4) Chased winner until 2nd, stayed 3rd until 6th, struggling in 4th from 3 out, tailed off and eased before 2 out, 4th of 7, well behind Not Til Monday (11-11) at Lingfield 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Feb.
Gunna Sound (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Went right 1st, towards rear, hit 3rd and ridden, behind and struggling 4 out, tailed off and pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Swincombe Flame (10-5) at Exeter 2m 1f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) sft in Dec, 13 ran.
Join The Navy 6-1 (12-0) in a race won by Classical Rocker (11-7) at Badbury Rings 3m ptp gs in Feb, 13 ran.
Patrick Dee 40-1 (9-7) Led, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, weakening when mistake last, 5th of 10, 34l behind Mut'Ab (11-7) at Lingfield 2m sell hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gs in Mar.
Sir Du Bearn (FR) 16-1 (11-10) Held up in rear, never involved, tailed off, 13th of 18, well behind Our Father (11-11) at Ascot 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Dec.
The Clyda Rover (IRE) 6-1 (10-6) Held up towards rear, headway approaching and not fluent 5th, pushed along after next, soon weakened and behind next, slight peck 3 out, 5th of 9, 25l behind Southway Star (10-9) at Exeter 2m 3f cond nov hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.