Catterick - January 22
A novice hurdle that fell apart with the early departure of the quirky-looking Evander and the unfortunate exit of the ill-fated Kiriglote, however that should not detract from the effort of the winner Show Promise, who has done little wrong in his career so far.
Sure to improve in the jumping department over time, this decent-sized home bred will be capable of recording bigger numbers than he had to here and is precisely the type of horse his trainer excels with.
Runner-up O'Connell Street once again had very little oomph when push came to shove and he is a long way down the pecking order at Seven Barrows.
So Satisfied is hardly a winning machine and lacks the size to truly excel over fences, but he was weak in the market here largely on account of looking in need of the run beforehand.
Seen travelling and jumping notably well off the pace, this should put him spot on next when he will look well handicapped compared to previous winning form.
A fine race for the track and a worthy winner of the novices chase in Schiehallion Munro, who once again jumped for fun and showed tremendous zest for the job, hitting the line hard despite a positive ride throughout.
Connections will be spying Aintree and/or Ayr later in the season and is one to keep firmly on side, while good ground will hold no fears for this most likeable individual, who should stay 3m in time.
Return Ticket has been campaigned like a good horse throughout his career but is yet to strike over fences. That should change in due course providing he tidies up his still-novicey jumping, while he travels so well during a race that it's hard not to see a big improvement once faced with a sounder surface.
Diamond Fort was quite strong in the market despite track and trip looking far from ideal, and this confirmed stayer was duly off the bridle from some way out before staying on stoutly after the last.
Lacking a little in stature does not seem to hold him back in the jumping department and he looks a ready-made winner in a more suitable race.
Crixus's Escape isn't very tall but has plenty of athleticism; however he was a bit of a slow burner over timber and an early error at the first ditch saw him lose a little confidence.
Not given a hard time once held, he stayed on noticably strongly from the last giving the impression once again that a trip closer to 3m will now suit, where a slower gallop may also help him get organised.
Minella Trump was all the rage in the betting but it was chief market rival Annsam who made much more appeal following paddock inspection, the Southern-raider having loads of scope and looking in really good order. With his most recent victory well advertised by the runner-up, he was a confident choice and received a very professional ride from the outstanding Adam Wedge.
Out of a wonderful race mare in Bathwick Annie, Annsam is a name to remember once tackling fences and over a longer trip.
Another winner of another weak race was Summer Lightening, and another that stood out in the paddock having loads of size and scope, while looking on particularly good terms with herself.
Jockey Conor O'Farrell is making a name for himself in the North and gave the big grey a lovely waiting ride, yet still got there plenty soon enough on a mare you get the impression doesn't do an awful lot in front.
As such, she may have a little more in hand than the margin of victory suggests and, while this did not take much winning, she strikes as the sort to go in again while in this sort of form. In the longer term she may improve still further once tackling fences.