They didn't go much of a pace in the mares novices hurdle but the classy grey Redemption Song got the job done on her first outing over timber. She's a big mare and looked to be carrying condition, but showed loads of ability in bumpers and was simply too good for the opposition. She looks quirky when hitting the front, but I suspect that's just greenness at this stage and she'll be better as she goes up in class. I can see her mixing it with the best of the Southern-based mares and will make a lovely chaser in time.
I thought the runner-up Lucca Lady stepped up on her solid debut effort and she's a likeable mare. She's now bumped into a couple of decent sorts and one of these will come her way; she shapes like a stayer and I'm certain she'll go on soft ground.
They were clear of Raised On Grazeon, who was quite well backed despite lacking resolution in a finish and also that she was very unlikely to stay this extra half mile. She pulled too hard off the slow gallop and is one that should be opposed in all but the very weakest of races.
The feature was a Listed mares chase and it produced a most impressive performance from the vastly improved Mia's Storm. By no means the biggest of these, she looked well though and is clearly thriving. She jumped supremely and unlike many of these can call on deep reserves of stamina. Physically she can keep improving and while soft ground may be a concern, she's in very good hands.
While Desert Queen won this last year she is usually campaigned over shorter and this buzzy type was brought into the paddock very late. She was on her toes and the money for her in the market was overdone as her form didn't entitle her to be so short.
Arguably most eye-catching was runner-up Antartica De Thaix. The Nicholls horse was never at the races and made a number of errors in the first part of the race. She looked burly beforehand and the weakness in the market rather backed this up. She was rusty but stamina looks to be her forte and as this was her first venture over 3m, I think she's capable of much better and appears to go on soft.
Shady Glen got his head in front after travelling well throughout the handicap chase, but this was very uncompetitive and I don't think he's had to improve to win here. Kap Jazz is a really sluggish looking horse and made numerous minor errors before plugging on, perhaps much softer ground would suit. Ultimatum Du Roy is very sturdy and surely needed this seasonal debut, while Themanfrom Minella posted another shocker.
Another extremely weak race and it looked like another good opportunity for Pretty Reckless, who pulled it out of the fire at Warwick last time. Tenacity is half the battle in these sorts of races and the race was run perfectly for the four-year-old, as the strong-travelling Elkstone provided the perfect target to aim at. The latter has proven intractable at times but seemed to settle better here, and actually looked to find a bit extra off the bridle, although the winner was dossing. He remains one to oppose, but this did offer a bit of hope. Tower Of Allen didn't look great and needs to fall in the weights.