held up, reminder at 7th, ridden 13th, weakened soon after, behind and pulled up before 3 out
tracked leaders throughout, ridden and outpaced 4 out, chased leader next, kept on all out to lead flat
with leader, mistake 11th, ridden 14th, weakening when mistake 3 out
led, blundered 12th and headed, ridden 4 out, weakened 3 out
prominent, mistake 11th, led next, hit 3 out, very tired when not fluent last, soon headed
held up in touch, mistake 6th, ridden and weakened 14th, behind when pulled up before 2 out
held up towards rear, mistake 9th, headway to track leaders next, ridden 14th, weakened after 3 out
held up, mistake 12th, headway 14th, soon ridden and weakened, behind when pulled up before 2 out
An absolutely wide-open looking affair can go to Principe Azzurro ahead of Nenuphar Collonges, Geeveem and Fast Forward to name but a few. The latter hails from a very much in-form stable at present, but a look at his latest form reveals that the Venetia Williams inmate is now 5lb worse off with Principe Azzuro for the less than two-lengths that separated them at Chepstow in February. Put in his place at Kempton since, Fast Forward is worth taking on today. In contrast, Principe Azzuro has yet to show us what he can really do, and there is no doubting the fact that the ability is there judged on his defeat of subsequent multiple scorer Flintoff at Towcester in November. Not badly treated on that form, he is worth taking a chance with here. Nenuphar Collonges failed bu just a neck to give lumps of weight to Zimbabwe at Leicester last time, and so has to be on the short-list along with Geeveem. Paul Nicholls's charge looks held by Nenuphar Collonges though on a line through Zimbabwe who had him back in third in the the Sussex National at Plumpton. Twelve Paces was pulled up in the Welsh National and has had a break since then, while Ice Melted is in receipt of weight from all to add more interest. Only Vintage kept good company over hurdles, but has plenty of weight for what he has done so far over fences, and our small vote goes to Principe Azzurro.
Only Vintage (USA) 4-1fav (11-12) Held up in touch, not fluent 8th, ridden next, mistake 10th, weakened approaching 4 out, tailed off when pulled up 3 out in race won by Alright Now M'Lad (11-5) at Haydock 2m 4f nov hcp chs (2) hvy in Feb, 8 ran.
Nenuphar Collonges (FR) 9-2jt-fav (11-12) Towards rear, not fluent 7th, reminder after 9th, outpaced 13th, stayed on again 3 out, switched right, stayed on well flat, 2nd of 10, nk behind Zimbabwe (10-9) at Leicester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Feb.
Hoh Viss 6-1 (11-12) In touch, ridden 4 out, weakend approaching next, behind when pulled up 4 out in race won by King Bee (10-11) at Haydock 3m hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Feb, 6 ran.
Geeveem (IRE) 4-1jt-fav (11-7) Mid-division, headway 15th, ridden to chase leaders 4 out, weakened 2 out, 3rd of 11, 12l behind Pass Me By (10-13) at Plumpton 3m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Jan.
Fast Forward (NZ) 15-8fav (11-6) Chased leaders, led narrowly 4 out until headed approaching 3 out, left poor 2nd at last, 2nd of 7, well behind Limited Edition (11-4) at Kempton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Feb.
Twelve Paces 12-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, mistake 10th, well behind from 15th, tailed off when pulled up 5 out in race won by Halcon Genelardais (11-3) at Chepstow 3m 5f hcp chs Grd 3 (1) sft in Dec, 18 ran.
Principe Azzurro (FR) 6-4fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, left in lead after 4th, ridden and headed 3 out, under pressure and rallied flat, not reach winner, 2nd of 5, 2l behind Fast Forward (11-4) at Chepstow 3m nov chs (3) hvy in Feb.
Ice Melted (IRE) 7-4jt-fav (11-7) Led, quickened 8th, headed 2 out, soon ridden, kept on same pace flat, 2nd of 6, 3 1/2l behind Character Building (11-12) at Market Rasen 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-120 (3) sft in Feb.