WILLEM (NAP) improved markedly on his UK debut when fourth to Gassin Golf in a competitive Class 2 handicap at Newbury last month. Further improvement is likely and Conor O'Farrell's mount makes more appeal than stablemate All Force Majeure and the four-year-olds Superb Story and Dino Mite. He also gets 6lb from Stephen Hero, not taking into account Bridget Andrews' claim, though the top weight has the beating of Battleship Boy on Ludlow running. Gold Man and More Buck'S still have a lot to prove.
Stephen Hero (IRE) 5-2fav (11-9) Led, not fluent 3rd, ridden and joined 3 out, soon headed, no impression when jumped left last, lost 2nd flat, 3rd of 12, 12l behind Set The Trend (11-2) at Ludlow 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Mar.
Willem (FR) 7-1 (11-0) Led, pushed along before 2 out, headed just before the last, driven and not pace of winner run-in, soon lost 2nd and lost 3rd towards finish, 4th of 12, 6l behind Gassin Golf (11-8) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gs in Mar.
All Force Majeure (FR) 10-1 (10-12) Took keen hold in rear, never involved, 6th of 8, well behind Sugar Baron (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3f nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Battleship Boy (IRE) 66-1 (11-2) With leader, mistake 5th, weakened after next, 9th of 12, well behind Set The Trend (11-2) at Ludlow 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Mar.
Gold Man (IRE) 10-1 (11-1) Mid-division on outside, shaken up and hanging left after 6th, soon struggling, well beaten after next, tailed off, 6th of 8, well behind Might Bite (11-1) at Newbury 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Mar.
More Buck's (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Last trio, pushed along and struggling in 6th before 3 out, tailed off and pulled up before2 out, in a race won by War Sound (10-5) at Exeter 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft in Jan, 11 ran.
Multimedia 40-1 (11-1) Took keen hold and settled in rear, stumbled 4th, steady headway approaching 6th, weakened 3 out, 6th of 12, 43l behind It's A Close Call (11-8) at Taunton 2m 3f nov hdl (4) gs in Mar.
Toast And Jam (IRE) 100-1 (10-13) Led, not fluent 1st or 4th, headed 5th, lost place and mistake next, soon behind, pulled up after 7th, in a race won by Peggy Do (10-9) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f cond mdn hdle (5) sft in Mar, 7 ran.
Superb Story (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Led to 1st, tracked leader, led again before 5 out, headed 3 out, ridden and weakened before last, 4th of 10, 22l behind Devilment (11-5) at Doncaster 2m 4yo hdl (4) gd in Feb.
Dino Mite 4-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden before last, kept on towards finish, 3rd of 7, 1 1/2l behind She's Da One (10-12) at Taunton 2m 3f mrs nov hdl (4) gd in Mar.