in touch, headway 4 out, ridden 3 out, went 2nd at last, kept on
keen tracked leader, blundered badly 4th, pulled up before next
led, headed 4 out, soon ridden, weakened last
in touch, ridden 7th, weakened 3 out
in rear, ridden 7th, blundered 4 out and soon outpaced, ridden and headway 2 out, kept on to go 3rd near finish
jumped slow, soon behind, tailed off 4th
held up, ridden 7th, soon weakened, pulled up 4 out
in touch, effort on outer after 8th, chased leader 3 out, led soon after 2 out, ridden out
tracked leaders, jumped right 4th, led 4 out, ridden and headed soon after 2 out, weakened flat and lost 3rd near finish
Despite racing from out of the handicap proper Autumm Spirit, runner-up at Fontwell and Huntingdon in January, and Red Law, who was second over 2m5f here 10 days ago, have to go on the short-list in a low-key opener. Both would probably prefer a bit further, however. Nous Voila ran his best race so far over fences when second over C&D recently and should go well while Akarshan was well backed at Taunton last month, though ultimately ran a shocker at the west country track. Olympian Boy might need this and Medicine Man is tackling fences for the first time in public but there should be more to come from GOLDEN DREAM, who won a couple of times between the flags and faces lesser opposition than when a well-beaten fourth at Huntingdon on his chasing debut.
Akarshan (IRE) 10-3fav (11-9) Held up in rear but in touch, not fluent 4th, mistake 6th, soon struggling, never dangerous, last of 6, 36l behind Jeczmien (10-11) at Taunton 2m hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Feb.
Medicine Man (IRE) 50-1 (11-3) Led, mistake 5th, headed when not fluent 3 out, no impression next, weakened flat, 3rd of 15, 18l behind Kells Belle (10-10) at Ludlow 2m mdn hdl (4) gd in Feb.
Olympian Boy (IRE) 9-2 (11-10) Led until 3 out, soon under pressure, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 11, 8l behind Swiss Art (11-8) at Plumpton 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gs in Dec.
Salybia Bay 66-1 (10-3) Chased leaders, went 2nd before 4th, ridden next, lost place soon after, tailed off, 8th of 14, 30l behind Balerina (10-2) at Kempton 2m cond hcp hdl 0-1115 (4) gs in Feb.
Golden Dream (IRE) 11-2 (11-11) Tracked leaders, lost place when hit 11th, weakened 15th, mistake 4 out, tailed off, 4th of 6, well behind Honourable Arthur (11-12) at Huntingdon 3m 5yo nov hcp (4) gs in Jan.
Nous Voila (FR) 15-2 (10-11) Held up in touch in rear, switched left after 3 out, stayed on from last to take 2nd towards finish, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 6l behind Playing With Fire (11-9) at Leicester 2m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) hvy.
Goodtimetoby (IRE) 4-1 (11-6) Held up in touch in rear, jumped slowly 5th, not fluent 7th, lost touch after 3 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Ours (11-9) at Hereford 2m hcp chs 0-95 (5) gs in Feb, 6 ran.
Autumm Spirit 14-1 (10-0) Prominent, led 4th until approaching 6th, weakened 3 out, 7th of 13, 32l behind Be My Light (10-6) at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) sft in Jan.
Red Law (IRE) 8-1 (10-11) Led until approaching 5th, remained handy, every chance when not fluent 4 out, no impression on winner final 100 yards, 2nd of 8, 1 3/4l behind French Ties (11-8) at Leicester 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-90 (5) hvy.