DUSKY LEGEND quickly took Copper Kay's measure over this track and trip at the start of the month and she's fancied to confirm that for despite 3lb worse terms, and also end the unbeaten record over hurdles of La Bague Au Roi. Warren Greatrex's five-year-old is on a hat-trick after victories at Uttoxeter and Wetherby but this free-going start didn't appear to enjoy soft going when beaten in a bumper at Aintree in April. Happy Diva was only headed close home in a maiden at Ludlow but this is much tougher and Ms Parfois and Soiesauvage are making their hurdling debuts.
Dusky Legend 11-8fav (11-3) Held up, in touch, good headway into 4th 3 out, tracked leading pair going well next, led before the last, ridden clear run-in, won at Newbury 2m (2) gd in Nov beating Copper Kay (11-3) by 4 1/2l, 8 ran.
Copper Kay 9-2 (11-3) Tracked leading pair, 2nd travelling well approaching 3 out, upsides next, led between last two until before the last, soon ridden and one pace, no chance with winner, kept on for clear 2nd, 2nd of 8, 4 1/2l behind Dusky Legend (11-3) at Newbury 2m (2) gd in Nov.
Happy Diva (IRE) 7-4 (11-2) Took keen hold, held up, closed 2nd, challenged 3 out, soon led, went right last, driven flat, headed towards finish, 2nd of 8, nk behind Tara View (11-2) at Ludlow 2m mdn (4) gd in Nov.
La Bague Au Roi (FR) 8-15fav (11-3) Made all, shaken up before last, quickened clear, won at Wetherby 2m (4) gs in Nov beating Whatduhavtoget (11-3) by 5l, 5 ran.
Ms Parfois (IRE) 10-1 (11-0) Prominent, on inside, effort over 2f out, ridden and one pace over 1f out, no impression final furlong, 7th of 19, 9 1/2l behind Irish Roe (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m lst (1) sft in Nov.
Soiesauvage (FR) (10-2) won at Fontainebleau 1m 7f stks sft in Apr beating Baladala Reconce (10-2) by 10l, 14 ran.