Finally some drying conditions and it was good to soft pretty much all over.
The opener was a match and not easy to call; First Drift a nicer chasing type shouldering a double penalty, up against a Skelton hurdler lacking in scope, but with form not far behind the marginal jolly.
They crawled around, and Or De Vassy won the sprint for the line despite having shown his form over further. Maybe the jockey should have kicked earlier on the second, but probably the best horse won at the weights.
Boy Named Sioux is a big chase type from a family the yard knows well, he's still green and they'll want to get some more experience into this big seven-year-old before he goes chasing.
There wasn't much to say about the 0-100 handicap hurdle. Scented Lily carries her head high at the walk and although appearing to knuckle down in the finish, did appear to shirk a good winning opportunity. The jury is out for now, she's only young.
Cobbler's Son is really unfurnished, and will be a better horse in time.
Race three wasn't much better, Red Ochre the paddock pick but he was run out of it by The Blue Bomber, who was winning for the first time in 20. That pretty much sums things up.
The staying handicap hurdle was more like it, and featured an interesting northern raider in On A Promise, who sprang to our attention earlier in the campaign when landing a punt for connections at Wetherby.
Beaten only by one even better handicapped over three months ago, this lengthy grey still looks unfurnished but clearly has some quality and he looked ready to go in again with question marks over many rivals.
Benechenko surprisingly went without headgear and ran no sort of race, while Itsnonofurbusiness was messing around in the paddock and looks very quirky, again showing little in the race.
Loch Linnhe has some mileage in his mark and ran well here a couple of months ago before getting very tired. Back on sounder terrain, I thought he'd go well and he did, coming clear with the well handicapped winner. He can win again.
The handicap chase wasn't great, but at least intriguing. It was at the mercy of the in-form favourite Must Havea Flutter with all the others having questions to answer, although four of the five were looking well handicapped.
The favourite looked well and was given a positive ride despite some iffy jumping, and is one to keep onside this spring. Clearly he'll stay further and goes on this better ground.
It looks like Matorico has completely gone, but Mahlerdramatic put in a better shift and just bumped into one, but it's still disappointing that he isn't better than his new mark. Las Tunas came in for a better ride this time, but it's not certain that he stays this far.
The novice handicap chase was low grade stuff, the smallest of them Bocasien Desbois proving more adept at the obstacles than most, running out a sound enough winner.
Kings Temptation showed enough to suggest he can win a small race after nearly getting rid of the jockey at the first, while Court Painter emphasized the form of his small yard with a big run despite looking big and hairy.
Alf N Dor was a surprisingly well-backed favourite considering his best hurdles form came on heavy, and that this came only nine days after a hard race at Uttoxeter. Goodnight Charlie should be better than this but remains out of form.
The mares bumper didn't throw up many lookers beforehand, the tall and quite light-framed Definitelyanoscar running out an easy winner.
Sweet Adare was probably the nicest and might be one to look out for, Truly Amazing had a good bit of size about her and can definitely improve, but Rippling Waters looked even lighter than she did in the autumn and simply can't deal with racing at the current time.