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The two leading contenders on hurdles form are INCA ROSE and Papa Tango Charly in that slight order of preference. They are both solid types and it looks an interesting clash. Rules debutants Monty Guiry and Name Of Fame need to be monitored closely in the betting.
Subway Surf sets a fair standard, but she has proved quite expensive to follow. Preference is for Nicky Henderson’s hurdling debutante RILLIANT PRESENT, who is bred to be well above average and was a cosy winner of a Lingfield bumper when last seen out. Fellow newcomers Nina The Terrier and Burrows Treat are worth a second look too in a race where the market should reveal plenty.
This isn’t a race that makes much appeal as there are doubts about many of the runners. However, it could pay to take a chance with STATUARIO, who is back from a break and has conditions to suit. Hazzaar and chase debutant Presentandcounting are two other possibles.
Both Good News and Avantgardist were revitalised by the fitting of a visor when last-time scorers and much will depend here on whether the headgear will have the same galvanising effect for a second time. It could pay to oppose them both with PENS MAN, who showed the benefit of a wind op when sixth at Market Rasen after a break and is taken to build on that in first-time cheekpieces.
Not so competitive as the numbers suggest. Handicap debutant Famous Last Word and low-mileage The Big Sting offer some potential, while in-form Teenage Dirtbag needs considering too. However, FOR JIM returns to hurdling after a break on a good mark and he can follow up his Sedgefield chasing victory.
A fairly useful handicap in which course and distance winners Go Steady and Keep Moving arrive in very good order and with plenty to recommend them. However, SOMEKINDOFSTAR boasts even better credentials and Lucy Wadham’s progressive sort can make it 3-4 over fences since the blinkers went on.
Champagne City got back on track when scoring over course and distance, but preference is for CLEMENTO who made a promising start for Fergal O’Brien after an absence when chasing home Tom George’s eight-year-old that day and enjoys a 5lbs pull in the weights now. In-form Iron Heart is feared most and Dave And Bernie is one for the shortlist too.
It will be interesting to see what the market says about Bond’s Lover on her handicap debut back from an absence, while there are positives about Trump Lady. However, HOTTER THAN HELL (NAP) acquitted herself well behind a progressive one at Haydock last time and she is solid to go well.
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