French import Mick Pastor can probably be forgiven his first run for Paul Nicholls in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham and did finish ahead of Prefontaine. Torolight is also eased in grade but doesn’t look one of Nicky Henderson’s best juveniles. OPERATIC EXPORT was quietly fancied for a Fillies’ Listed race at Aintree on her hurdling debut and showed sings of promise in finishing fifth. A winner on the Flat in Ireland and placed over 1m4f, she has plenty in her favour today with progress almost certain. Leading Knight is a half-brother to a winning hurdler but may need today’s experience.
Mick Pastor (FR) 5-2fav (11-3) Keen early, held up mid-division, headway after 3 out (usual 4 out), soon tracked leaders, outpaced after 2 out, weakened before last, tailed off, 6th of 10, dist behind Allmankind (10-12) at Cheltenham 2m (1) sft in Nov.
Prefontaine (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Raced wide, chased leaders, reminders after 4 out, weakened before next, last of 6, dist behind Navajo Pass (10-12) at Doncaster 2m 1f (1) sft in Dec.
Hydroplane (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Mid-division, ridden and weakened after 3 out, 8th of 15, dist behind Maskada (10-5) at Warwick 2m mdn (4) sft in Dec.
Leading Knight (IRE) Leading Light gelding out of Miss Mcgoldrick.
Peckinpah (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Awkward prior to start and slowly away, raced keenly in rear, pushed along in 7th after 3 out, plugging on when left in 4th at the last, never on terms, 4th of 11, 18 1/4l behind Zamani (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f (4) sft in Dec.
Percy Alexander 33-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, blundered 2 out, plugged on, never on terms, 6th of 11, 36l behind Fraser Island (10-12) at Newbury 2m (4) sft in Dec.
Torolight 13-2 (10-12) Chased leading pair until after 4th, pushed along on long run before 2 out, weakened soon after, tailed off, last of 6, dist behind Rowland Ward (10-12) at Kempton 2m (2) sft in Dec.
Twpsyn (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, lost place after 3 out, well beaten 2 out, 7th of 15, dist behind Maskada (10-5) at Warwick 2m mdn (4) sft in Dec.
Lucky Circle 33-1 (10-5) Held up towards rear, pushed along before halfway, soon struggling, tailed off when pulled up before 4 out, at Fontwell 2m 2f mdn (4) sft in Dec.
Operatic Export (IRE) 6-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, ridden and weakened after 2 out, 5th of 14, 26l behind Midnights' Gift (10-12) at Aintree 2m 1f lst fll (1) gs in Dec.