It looked a trappy little card although most of the winners were 'getable' if you looked hard enough - that's with the benefit of hindsight (obvs.)
Deputy's Oscar, a big lengthy mare, appeared in really good heart as she looked to complete a quick double after landing a bit of touch here over 2m at the last meeting.
She had to concede the penalty to quality bumper horse Misty Whisky, but the money came for her again and she put the benefit of that previous experience to good use.
The favourite is a big, scopey staying type and she just couldn't quite keep tabs on the winner, not helped by some really novicey jumping. With her yard a bit quiet, she will surely progress massively in time.
Hotter Than Hell is quite a buzzy filly and she burned too much energy too soon, while Velkera shaped nicely in third considering she looked a little weak and needing the run.
Dundrum Wood had two handlers and didn't look entirely straight forward before going off a warm order for the maiden hurdle having cost current connections an arm and a leg, but the son of Flemensfirth looks much more of a staying type and never really looked like defying the odds.
The one they found in the market was Flow Away and again punters were on the mark as the Alex Hales-trained debutant landed a big touch despite looking wayward in front, losing many lengths by jumping and hanging left - he looked a is type and certainly fit enough, a well-related sort.
There wasn't much depth to the race, Torrid running his usual race in third although Fort Denison shaped okay having looked in need of the run, while they appear to be getting Present Chief handicapped - he looked burly after a seven week break.
A trappy handicap hurdle saw six head to post, the market was headed by the Skeltons' Anytime Will Do, an athletic sort who probably just needed it. Umndeni looked really fit and well but went very freely and hasn't looked too reliable in the past.
Honest Vic has threatened to win a prize or two and I thought he'd come on for the run, he was first off the bridle but poached a lead at the last and repelled the thrust of Skandiburg, who has strengthened up and looks a fair stayer in the making.
The novice chase saw Earlofthecotswolds strongly supported in the betting as the only one with a run under his belt but there didn't seem to be much else to the disparity with superior hurdler Rouge Vif, who has the stamp of a useful chaser.
Such a strong horse, he appeared to be carrying condition but he was firm in the market and simply proved too good for the opposition; this was an excellent start and he could take high rank especially in the mud.
Baddesley Knight was completely overlooked in the betting and ran a massive race, jumping and travelling in eye-catching style before Rouge Vif put his stamp on the race from two out.
He's a very nice prospect in his own right and could well develop into a Close Brothers type at the Festival.
The big race was 'the Prelude' (to what, who knows) but it was wide open and there were few paddock hints with all nine looking fit and well.
Copper West looked keen in the prelims but settled nicely and he could have turned the corner after finishing weakly on occasions, knuckling down under a strong drive to see it out.
Theligny has always struck one as a thorough stayer but was tight in the betting and stayed on strongly in a race where he didn't appear to have much going for him. He has his own way of doing things, particularly in the jumping department, but there could be a decent prize in him this season and he remains unexposed over 3m.
The bumper, as so often, was the big race for paddock watchers and the front two in the market looked ones to be with, particularly eventual winner Fair Star from the in-form B Ellison yard.
Bought for 30k, the sizeable son of Sea The Stars clearly has ability and really picked up once asked for an effort a furlong out, seeing off the run of Mawlood who was the subject of some support.
It looked a pretty weak race on paper but the right quartet came away in the closing stages and it wouldn't be the worst bumper in the world.