A bit of rain overnight and a chilly wind for a messy little card, bits and pieces of interest going forward, times suggesting it was pretty dead ground.
The interesting one in an opening handicap chase was undoubtedly Cybalko, who looked a chaser with a future when chasing home Chozen here earlier in the season.
He does lack in the way of size and scope however, and a few sketchy leaps presaged a last fence exit when upsides front runner Deise Vu, who had looked fit and well off an absence but high in the weights.
Whether the nicely supported Cybalko would have won is a moot point, but he appeared to meet the obstacle on a good stride with momentum but either didn't have the courage or scope to make it, and is one I'd rather oppose over fences for now.
None of the veterans in the race made much appeal, most looking to be on a downward spiral, and they didn't change that view by running flat, Clonusker pulled up after looking badly in need of it.
A novices handicap chase came up next and the market put everybody away by shortening up the desperately disappointing Mr Love, who hasn't looked like a winner in waiting and was probably backed because of the in-form trainer factor.
He looked fit but is a slow coach and after pulling a bit just ran no sort of race. Overawed again looked too small for fences and was another that didn't figure, neither did Dallas Cowboy who came in for support.
Goodthyneaway was put in around 5/2 and drifted to 12 on the machine before winning with a bit to spare, not the most straight forward looking horse and it's not easy to assess the low-grade Skelton horses, three of whom flopped later on.
He looked cooked going to the last when Scartare came to take over but the latter is a maiden for a reason and didn't look at all keen to go on when meeting the final two fences and he will be one I'll oppose next time in similar circumstances.
Three In One was an eye-catcher on paper but was weak in the betting and made no appeal physically, running a shocker on chase debut.
It was nice to see Good Boy Bobby again in the novices hurdle as he's a really nice horse, well made with plenty of size and scope. His attitude needs some work as he's still very exuberant but he's probably just got a very high cruising speed and can keep it going longer than most...he annihilated market rival River Bray who wasn't carrying any condition at all.
The staying handicap hurdle saw the return of Captain Drake who I'd taken a shine to at Aintree in October, very much a chaser in the making.
He hadn't needed to come off the bridle to win at Uttoxeter in soft ground and he was strong in the market to overcome an opening mark of 121 which looked to underestimate his ability.
Plenty of size and length, he looks to have stamina in abundance and the market got it spot on, although it needed an exit at the last from Tomkevi to seal matters...my view is he would have won anyway but it must be said he was pretty much all out and was having a real good blow afterwards.
Creep Desbois is a horse I've always kept onside (painful) and the each-way money was landed when he stayed on through beaten horses; he's another that lacks the scope to get any better over fences and although I'm sure he'll go back over them at some point, for my money he'll prove a better hurdler.
Mon Palois is very robust and probably needed this run back after taking a heavy fall, I'm convinced he doesn't stay 3m but once again hasn't run up to form and does have a lot to prove for now. *I've just read that he bled form the nose.
I wouldn't get involved in selling hurdles often but I wish I followed my instincts in the next when Glimpse Of Gold stood out a mile in the paddock as the only 'non-seller' type, and he duly hosed up.
The less said about the the rest the better; the Skelton's Roser Moter isn't very big at all while Vocal Heir is a very anxious sort and made equally little appeal.
I wanted to take on Skelton's Rodeo Dodo who returned from a long absence to win at Wetherby a fortnight ago in the next. He looked in prime shape for that and won well, although I wasn't keen on his finishing effort and there was every chance he wouldn't 'find' over this longer trip.
The one to be with in this staying handicap was Costante Via, a progressive mare with plenty of size and scope. She looked sure to go well, especially when I overheard assistant trainer C Llewellyn give jockey J Nailor instructions to be positive on the daughter of Milan.
Disappointingly, the jockey opted to not to commit his horse despite a leisurely pace throughout, and that surely cost him the race as the mare was tapped for toe on the home bend before staying on.
However, the eventual winner Sundance Boy had got first run, the modest looking grey showing his first real form from a mark of 68 and this was surely a fluke.
Rodeo Dodo stopped to nothing after cruising into it, he's worth another chance over fences with excuses here - there may have been a bounce factor as well.
The bumper wasn't straight forward with Winningiseverything a short price to win again after showing good form at Market Rasen. He's well made and quite strong, but is laid back and looks a stayer.
There were a few nice newcomers, the winner San Rumoldo well prepared by the trainer-owned A King despite having loads of growing to do. The 4yro allowance was key to success here, but he too looks a real stayer in the making.
Hurricane Harvey nearly made it second time lucky and didn't lose much in defeat, while Winningiseverything just found that penalty beyond him in these circumstances but came out the best horse again on the figures.
The Domino Effect came in for support but he looked far too big and lairy on this course debut, he ran on well and will do much better in time, as should Torn and Frayed who is a nice type that didn't quite see it out.