A tricky opener as there was little between Superior Command, LOWANBEHOLD and Gold Opera when the former scored over a shorter trip here last month. But the runner-up was having his first start since July on that occasion and should be sharper re-opposing on better terms. Sandy Forster's charge gets a tentative vote to reverse running but Court Dismissed is not out of this either given he returned to form with a victory at Catterick last month when beating a subsequent winner.
Court Dismissed (IRE) 10-1 (11-6) Tracked leader, ridden approaching 3 out, effort next, stayed on well to lead run in, won at Catterick 3m 1f hcp (4) gs in Mar beating Bodega (11-7) by 1 1/4l, 7 ran.
Gold Opera (IRE) 6-4fav (11-0) Led, mistake 7th, not fluent and headed 4 out, soon ridden, outpaced when not fluent 2 out, rallied flat, stayed on, went 3rd close home, 3rd of 5, 1 1/2l behind Superior Command (10-4) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp (3) sft in Mar.
Superior Command (IRE) 4-1 (10-4) Held up in touch in 4th, closed 8th, went 2nd 3 out, jumped right next, soon led, jumped right last then hung right, driven out, won at Kelso 2m 1f hcp (3) sft in Mar beating Lowanbehold (10-3) by 1 1/4l, 5 ran.
Lowanbehold (IRE) 18-1 (10-3) Tracked leader until 3rd, handy, mistake 8th, not fluent 4 out, one pace before last, switched left and rallied flat, went 2nd towards finish, 2nd of 5, 1 1/4l behind Superior Command (10-4) at Kelso 2m 1f hcp (3) sft in Mar.
Wicklow Gold (FR) 8-1 (11-2) Tracked leader, to 12th, mistake 5 out, soon weakened, last of 3, dist behind Ballyben (10-3) at Ayr 3m 1f hcp (3) gs in Nov.