held up in rear, headway 7th, tracking leaders when left 2nd 8th, led next, clear before 4 out, went markedly right next, very easily
tracked leader, pecked 2nd, mistake and lost 2nd 5th, chased leading pair, no chance from 4 out, hit 2 out, weakened to modest 4th run in
tracked leading pair, went 2nd 5th, travelling well when fell 8th
tracked leaders, not fluent 9th, pushed along outpaced and no chance after 8th, kept on to 3rd run in
led, blundered 2nd, headed 9th, chased winner, pushed along and no impression from 4 out
Flaming Charmer beat Un Bon P'tit Gars by nine lengths at Chepstow earlier this month but the runner-up is 11lb better off and may well turn the tables. Valdez was quite impressive when beating more experienced rivals on his chasing bow at Exeter but, with his weight-for-age allowance, BLACK RIVER is receiving 8lb from the top weight and that may be enough to swing things his way. Graham Wylie bought the four-year-old out of Guy Cherel's yard after he won a couple of hurdle races and Paul Nicholls has done well with similar types in the past. Earls Quarter made mistakes when third at Kempton but that was a tough start over fences and he'll have more to offer in the months ahead.
Valdez 7-4fav (11-1) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, went 2nd from 3rd, led 7th, not fluent 3 out, clear last, stayed on, won at Exeter 2m 1f beg chs (4) gs beating The Italian Yob (11-1) by 6l, 8 ran.
Earls Quarter (IRE) 20-1 (11-2) Raced keenly, led, mistake 4th, headed 6th, jumped left after, went badly left and lost 2nd 8th, ridden and no extra in 3rd before 2 out, 3rd of 5, 17l behind Dodging Bullets (11-2) at Kempton 2m beg chs (4) gd in Oct.
Black River (FR) 4-1 (10-12) won at Auteuil(FR) 2m 1f 4yo hdl hvy in Mar beating Vautour (10-7) by 6l, 14 ran.
Flaming Charmer (IRE) 5-1 (10-9) Prominent, went 2nd before 3 out, led 2 out, ridden before last, kept on well, won at Chepstow 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy beating Un Bon P'tit Gars (11-5) by 9l, 8 ran.
Un Bon P'tit Gars (FR) 9-2 (11-5) Led, not fluent 4 out, mistake 3 out, headed 2 out, kept on and held by winner, 2nd of 8, 9l behind Flaming Charmer (10-9) at Chepstow 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) hvy.