Getaway Luv makes appeal on paper and can strike on debut for Olly Murphy. His dam, who is a half-sister to a smart hurdler, won a bumper on her first start, so his claims are obvious for a yard with a good record in this sphere. Courtandbould was a two-time runner-up in points and is feared most, while Loughan is interesting on debut for Dan Skelton.
Karakoram justified strong support at Ludlow last month, winning with a bit to spare, and he put in another sound effort when third at Warwick on his only subsequent start, running at least as well in defeat. He is clearly in good form and is expected to go close again here off the same mark, with the booking of Dougie Costello – a rider with more than 400 wins over jumps – an obvious positive in this race restricted to professional Flat jockeys.
Ruacana – who is partnered by Trevor Whelan, another man who has had plenty of success over jumps – is the obvious danger under a penalty.
Yaa Salaam has made an encouraging start over hurdles and finished third at Ffos Las before running to a similar level when runner-up at Market Rasen. He holds obvious claims on that form and remains open to some improvement. Hold That Taught looks a promising recruit to the hurdle ranks but Yaa Salaam was useful on the Flat in Germany and may have too much pace.
Troubled Soul finished third on her return at Chepstow last month and is fancied to build on that performance, with the drop back in trip in her favour. She has been dropped 1lb and is clearly on a competitive mark, so can strike for the in-form Fergal O’Brien yard.
Barntown looked set to make a winning handicap debut when coming down at the final flight over course and distance last week and he can gain compensation here. That was just his second start for Tim Vaughan and he is thoroughly unexposed, with just four starts over hurdles to his name. He races off the same mark, which is clearly a lenient one, and will be difficult to beat if none the worse for that incident.
Clondaw Anchor was beaten only by a subsequent winner on his chase debut at Uttoxeter last month and should have more to offer here off just a 2lb higher mark. Dan Skelton’s six-year-old went with enthusiasm on his reappearance, already looking a better chaser than hurdler, but he seemed to be undone by a lack of race-fitness. He ought to improve with the benefit of that run under his belt.
Easter Gold showed fair form in bumpers and made an encouraging start over hurdles when finishing fourth in a Wincanton maiden in May.
She remains open to improvement and gets the verdict over Lily The Pink, who failed to match her fair bumper form on her first start over hurdles but is entitled to build on that.