The return of NH action at the Bridge usually heralds great feelings of joy, but this was not a card to enthuse over and what a ghastly sight it was for value seekers as six of the seven jollys went in unchallenged, with the other withdrawn at the start.
The conditionals' hurdle was split and they looked anything-but competitive affairs, the market leaders looking to be ones to concentrate on.
The conclusion drawn prior to the opener was that Thyne For Gold should be just about good enough given his consistent form, particularly in light of a remarkable doubling in the price of southern raider Normandy King, who proceeded to run deplorably.
Cloud Monkey and Leading Score filled the places but neither is one to go overboard about, and the winner did not need to improve to land this.
Division two had a similar shape to it with old rivals from the flat Italian Riviera and Cape Hideaway expected to be involved in the finish - which they surely would have been had the latter not slipped on landing over two out when challenging.
It was left to another huge market drifter All For The Best to chase the winner home, but again he's not one to be especially interested in being a close-coupled, compact animal.
There wasn't anything to recommend amongst the also-rans regarding future investment.
The juvenile hurdle wasn't a great one, Skelton's Does It In Style failing to live up his name my coming down on the bend after looking the one with most about him physically beforehand.
Eventual winner Fidux is quite small and light framed and didn't achieve a great deal here, although in fairness a better gallop would have suited, while the luckless Walford yard yet again missed out when their Aislabie unshipped J Greenall two out, when poised to deliver a challenge.
The form is held down by 54-rated flat horse Allfredandnobell, who did at least advertise the well-being of the Hammond yard.
Nortonthorpelegend was rightly made a warm order to supplement last week's Sedgefield win, with conditions in his favour, in the handicap chase. He wasn't opposed lightly, although there was plenty of each-way value to be had if you got it right.
I favoured Valleyofmilan but he ran very flat, making errors, and was yet another McCain chaser to run below par - the trainer is winless in three months over fences.
Bonzo Bing finally delivered on earlier promise having dropped miles in the weights, connections finally twigging that he wants a trip.
This was a bit of an odd race though with very little incident, Ueueteotl and the pint sized Iora Glas merely plodding on, and it's not really a race to take much from.
The withdrawal of Tara View down at the start made the next a non-event - the King mare would surely have beaten Miss Maiden Over, who looked ponderous at several obstacles.
The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the sight of King's French import Laissez Dire prior to the novices chase. Billed as a two horse race, it wasn't even that as money buyers stationed around the paddock would have been in clover having spied the gorgeous four-year-old, who would have won without the allowance.
Work In Progress doesn't look the easiest of conveyances and although he was up against it here he's one I'd prefer to take on in the medium term. As for the winner, it'll be exciting to see him progress this term as he's very forward and value for the allowance.
Jovial Joey and Miami Present skipped round in their own time, but both fenced with aplomb in the main and will be of interest, especially the latter who should come on for the run and wasn't knocked about.
I wanted to be onside with Jefferson's Helmsley Lad in the closing bumper, but he still looks like he has plenty of growing up to do. It looks like he'll want a trip, as he was readily brushed aside by Skelton's heavily backed Getaway Whiskey, a laid back sort who was altogether more professional and had too much speed in a weak affair.