Back over to Liverpool, not a meeting I'd attended before but pleasant enough and some decent action for all that the ground was still good in the main.
Only two rocked up for the 3m novice chase and Robin Waters would make a catwalk model, however he looks like he's got the brains to match as he made a whole host of errors despite having the clearest possible sight of the fences.
By contrast, the rather workmanlike Minella Awards skipped round like an old pro and put his greater racecourse experience to use, he shouldn't be underestimated back in a decent handicap.
Half a dozen babies lined-up for a novices hurdle and it saw Quoi De Neuf overcome immaturity to win with some conviction.
Reported to have landed a Point in a good time, he didn't look overly big and is every inch a four-year-old, but clearly has a ton of ability and he could be smart.
Redzor is an athletic sort and probably the most forward both physically and mentally, so it made sense that he led them out, and he didn't lose much in defeat.
One For The Team had the most scope but was also backward looking, he's probably quite slow but ought to be okay in time, while Captain Drake has loads of size and is another that should pick up a novice prior to doing much better over fences.
It came as no surprise to see the heavily backed Abolitionist rock up fit as a fiddle on his first start for the good Dr Newland and with stamina in the bank a lot of use was made of him, and he didn't see another rival in the staying handicap.
Those in behind were having their own private race and The Organist simply ran into one; she's a hurdler through and through and looked like the race would do her good.
The conditions hurdle saw Vision Des Flos return to hurdles after losing the rider on chase debut. Physically he doesn't scream chaser at you but he's a very nice, athletic animal and one of these fine days he could produce something spectacular.
With Wholestone and in particular Unowhatimeanharry looking better over 3m, I thought the superior speed of the Tizzard flyer might just do them but the race didn't really pan out, the youngster jumping and travelling all over them and leading half a mile out.
He played the role of mouse rather than cat and Wholestone picked him off with some ease, the winner looking set for another solid campaign. Of all of these he looked the biggest but he's never been a great jumper and it looks like they'll be staying over timber now.
Agrapart looked in terrific order and he's a grand specimen; when the mud starts to fly he seems sure to land another decent pot this year and rising eight he may yet improve again this winter.
The class 2 handicap chase was competitive and a real puzzle, it looked beforehand as though Hell's Kitchen might have a solo up front if desired but such tactics were not employed and this big unit may well pop up another day.
They were all in pretty good order, although Mercian Prince was probably the least fit of all those that turned up on the day. I worry about Romain De Senam, he doesn't have an awful lot of size and scope and often gets very low over his fences. He didn't get any cover here either, and in different circumstances he should prove well handicapped. He nearly won the Fred Winter at the festival two years ago and I could see him excelling back over timber.
The victory of War Sound confounded those of us that had labelled him a dog and a thief, staying on stoutly in the manner of another P Hobbs horse that just wasn't firing last term.
The handicap chase over the minimum trip featured Carlisle winner Luckofthedraw, who was overlooked the last day on account of him not looking straight forward, and he soon spat the dummy in this more competitive event.
Tommy Silver is a nice looker and you can see why he is high in the pecking order at Ditcheat, but he is another lacking the necessary cojones and I'm not sure where they go from here, probably down the headgear route.
Baby King has a good record fresh but may just have needed it, but Yorkist looked fit and ready to roll and with the benefit of hindsight was overpriced back to a winning mark. Burrenbridge Hotel looked big and well but the trainer is 1/52 this season and remains cold as ice.
The bumper looked a two horse race on paddock inspection with Raven Court looking a pretty slow, albeit fit and a decent chasing prospect in time.
Misty Whisky was all the rage and a nice looking sort but clearly a filly on size and Sojourn had plenty about him plus the added bonus of having racecourse experience a year ago, in a race that has thrown up winners.
It turned out to be a mickey mouse contest but Sojourn kept digging in from the front and saw it out in the manner of a fair sort. The others were too green on the day but will do better.