ran in snatches, chased leaders, not fluent and dropped to last pair 7th, soon pushed along, rallied 9th, 3rd before 3 out, led before 2 out, 1 length ahead when not fluent last, kept on well when encouraged by loose horse in closing stages
Midnight Lira has failed to complete in two previous tries over these fences and was weakening when falling at Cheltenham in December. Rio De Sivola is out of sorts while Sergeant Dick has been hunting but Ballydague Lady has won a couple of times this term and hinted at a revival over track and trip on her latest start. LAC SACRE is still a maiden over the larger obstacles but appears to be getting his act together. He was placed at Lingfield and Ffos Las last month and this looks a bit easier.
Rio De Sivola (FR) 9-2 (10-13) Soon led, headed 4 out, weakened last, 5th of 6, 22l behind Upepito (11-1) at Warwick 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Jan.
Lac Sacre (FR) 7-1 (11-0) Held up in touch, headway on outside after 9th, went 2nd and effort 4 out, ridden and one pace in 3rd after 2 out, no chance with front pair before last, 3rd of 8, 10l behind Foxbridge (10-5) at Ffos Las 2m 3f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Jan.
Sergeant Dick (IRE) 9-2 (12-7) (tt) led til hdd aft 4 out; no ex by-passing 2 out, 3rd of 17, 13l behind Jetnova (12-0) at Heythrop 3m ptp gd in Jan.
Midnight Lira 16-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders, lost a few places 9th, towards rear but still in touch when fell 4 out, in a race won by Al Alfa (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 5f cond hcp chs (4yo+) (3) gs in Dec, 9 ran.
Ballydague Lady (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) Mid-division, not fluen 2nd, headway 6th, went 2nd 10th, led and pecked 3 out, headed after next, stayed on same pace flat, lost 2nd close home, 3rd of 10, 5l behind Sun Wild Life (11-4) at Taunton 2m 3f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Jan.
Bushwacker (IRE) 50-1 (11-11) Mistakes in rear, never a factor, tailed off when blundered 9th, pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Until Winning (11-3) at Ludlow 2m hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Jan, 9 ran.