I'm a bit short on time so the update will be a brief one, although the races to concentrate on are well worth reviewing. The going was changed to heavy midway through the card and it was deep ground after overnight snow.
A novice hurdle over almost 2m3f where Super Sid was sent off favourite to beat perennial bridesmaid Ballinslea Bridge, who was also strong in the market. The latter was getting a stone with the claim of the handy F Gregory while Super Sid had to shoulder a penalty.
The paddock revealed it to be a one-sided contest as Super Sid isn't much to look at, quite disappointing actually being only medium sized and one likely to struggle when sent chasing. By contrast, the strapping Ballinslea Bridge looked really well and he was understandably tight in the market.
It could just be that the heavy ground favoured the Olly Murphy trained winner, as Super Sid's finishing effort was pretty tame, although the combination of ground and weight likely made the favourite's task harder than the betting suggested.
Absolutely Dylan was mounted in pre-parade and he was on edge once more, but this decent looking Scorpion gelding clearly has ability and the penny is starting to drop; Cook by no means hard on him to gain second.
New Quay is never going to be a star in the Skelton yard but he built on his earlier effort here and looks in need of a step up in trip, while Second Time Around was held together on this ground and this nice big chaser will come into his own when the hooves are rattling.
Others to mention in a tidy little race are Brights Park and Pronto Tonto, both of whom may be worth noting once sent handicapping.
Some okay looking animals in this stayers hurdle, with Itsnonofurbusiness fairly bolting in for the Skeltons at huge odds. He looked a decent sort physically and looks like one worth following from higher marks. What A Diva looked in great order and merely caught a tarter in a race she won last year - her time will come soon.
Loch Linnhe will jump a fence but there are races to be won with him before that, giving best only before two out and the run will do him the world of good. Quite what Red Danaher was doing as favourite in a race of this nature I'll never know. I believe it's known as 'recency bias'.
One or two of interest in a 2m3f handicap hurdle, none more so than the winner Cabernet D'Alene, the paddock pick who appears to be improving at a rate of knots. Lizzie Kelly took a wide passage throughout which undoubtedly helped, but this is a horse with fast ground form and he could really take off this spring.
Fresh New Dawn has a future over fences but can surely land a handicap over timber given more real estate, he loves this soft ground and I'm certain he'll leave his current mark behind before long.
I thought Three Muskateers was a good thing to repeat last year's success in the Graduation Chase but the bottom line is he isn't improving and Le Rocher proved too good despite a couple of dodgy blunders in the straight.
The N Williams yard is at full throttle and the winner looked fresh and well, but he does lack some scope for fences and his jumping may continue to hold him back, especially going at a fast pace on better ground. Tomngerry didn't look quite right, getting a little warm and on his toes, and it might be a good idea to shelve his chasing career for now, he too lacks a bit of scope.
A listed mares bumper and a terrific race from which there could be untold winners emerge; most of them were in good order and I've not seen as good a mares bumper prior to this.
Dissavril was produced very fit by Emma Lavelle but it's likely this athletic, active sort doesn't take much work and she bolted up having been taken wide by G Sheehan.
Aimee De Sivola was well-backed getting the weight for age allowance but Kelly opted to take the ploughed route down the inner this time, whether the wider track would have made a difference is a moot point, but it was a curious decision from the jockey.
I didn't give Belle Amis much of a write-up after winning an ordinary Wetherby bumper but the eye was drawn to her as she's quite imposing, very strong and fit, and can defy a penalty in a weaker race, although she's surely ready for obstacles.
Simply Loveleh was ignored in the betting but she looked fit and well and this decent sort ran full of promise, and is a winner waiting to happen, while Harrisons Promise set a decent benchmark and probably didn't run too far below her winning form.
Derriana Spirit was well backed but was outpaced and this strong chase prospect simply wants further already, while Kimberley Point was one of the weaker physical specimens on show and she was friendless in the betting and ran accordingly.
Three came clear in the handicap chase and time may tell they are all well ahead of their current mark. Until Winning had two handlers and was full of himself on his second run back from an absence, and he travelled like the winner throughout if you were able to take your eye off long time leader and hot favourite Iskabeg Lane.
I'm a fan of the Smith youngster but 11/8 was a very short price and he looks for all the world like he wants a bigger track and 3m, probably flat out all the way here. He's a good jumper and well handicapped.
Midnight Monty is even more of a stayer and this robust horse would not have been suited by this test, even on soft ground, and the way he came home suggests he can win races this spring.
If you backed Incholm in this dire race, don't ever do it again. Ever.