Motashakel was given a considerate introduction to hurdling at Kempton last month and should improve to win a couple of races in this sphere going forward. Evan Williams’ charge was a fairly useful winner on the Flat in Ireland before leaving Kevin Prendergast’s yard and can pose a big threat here with that experience under his belt.
West Cork showed promise in second when unable to justify market support at Wetherby last month and is taken to go one better here. Dan Skelton’s promising recruit won his sole start in points before shaping well on his Rules debut and represents leading claims if improving as expected for that run.
Maire Banrigh stepped up considerably from her previous form when making a winning start to her chasing career, making all the running and comfortably drawing clear by 15 lengths at Stratford. The point winner had won both of her starts over hurdles last term and likely has more to offer yet for the in-form Skelton yard. This will not be as straightforward as last time, however, with Supreme Novice Hurdle runner-up Thomas Darby an obvious danger.
Lightly Squeeze shaped well on both starts in handicaps for Harry Fry at the end of 2018 and looked better than ever when landing a Flat race at Haydock in September. He races off just 1lb higher than his last hurdle run (despite his subsequent Haydock win), and will take the beating now returned to timber.
La Cavsa Nostra showed much-improved form when winning a Chepstow novice event on handicap debut last month and has obvious claims here under a penalty. The former point winner was set a difficult task at Fontwell on his chase debut, where he finished last of three, but he quickly put that run behind him with his impressive victory at the start of this term. He should still have more to offer and another bold bid is expected on his second run of the season.
Hugo’s Reflection is a chaser on looks and made the perfect start in this sphere at Market Rasen in March. He really ought to have followed up at Chepstow when looking in control before idling on his final start last season, and remains one to follow this time around. He can make amends here on his return from seven months off.
Hunny Moon is a half-sister to three winners and represents a yard that typically do well in this sphere, so she could be worth chancing on debut. Wynn House overcame inexperience to win on her sole bumper start in March and rates a big player here. She is carrying a penalty, but that is off-set by Alexander Thorne’s 7lb claim.
12:40 – Motashakel
13:15 – West Cork
13:50 – Maire Banrigh
14:25 – Lightly Squeeze
14:55 – La Cavsa Nostra
15:30 – Hugo’s Reflection
16:00 – Hunny Moon