Winning pointer Emmas Joy made a positive start to hurdling when third at Uttoxeter last month and would not need to improve on that to get off the mark here. She receives a handy 7lb weight-allowance from the boys and, barring stablemate Lemon Shoulder proving to be something above-average, looks to have found an excellent opportunity.
Quick Wave had some decent form to her name over fences in France and could make that experience count. She was disappointing on her most recent outing at Newton Abbot in May but shaped well at Exeter previously, finishing runner-up, and makes her return from a six-month break with the Venetia Williams stable in flying form.
Highway Girl again showed promise after a year off when fourth in a well-run Wetherby novice earlier this month, and looks interesting now back in mares’ company. She should strip fitter for her recent outing and is still unexposed having raced just twice over hurdles, so she is expected to take a step forward.
Torpillo has already won three times over hurdles for Nigel Twiston-Davies and looks an interesting recruit to chasing. He bolted up in a Chepstow handicap on his return last month, drawing clear to win by five lengths, and he had excuses when third to the useful Quel Destin at Cheltenham shortly after.
He is in receipt of a handy weight-for-age allowance here and this looks a good opportunity for him to make a winning start over fences.
Eaglehill caught the eye when finishing fifth in a novice at Stratford last month, coming home well having been given plenty to do, and he looks well treated on his handicap debut.
The Irish point winner should have a lot more to offer in this sphere and can take advantage of a lenient mark to open his account under Rules. Trainer Olly Murphy has another leading contender in Highate Hill, who also appeals as one likely to improve.
Colin Tizzard’s Theatre Guide is a 12-year-old and last won nearly three years ago, but he shaped as though retaining plenty of ability at Aintree last month and could have a say here after falling to a handy mark.
His losing run is an obvious concern but he will go close if building on that encouraging effort at Aintree, where he may still have been just short of peak fitness.
Alan King has a good record with bumper debutants so Nearly Perfection makes plenty of appeal on his first outing under Rules. King won this race in 2014 and typically targets the contest with one of his better youngsters, which adds to Nearly Perfection’s appeal.
Coquelicot is a half-sister to three winners, including Ebor hero Heartbreak City, so is certainly bred for the part and is one of two interesting newcomers for Anthony Honeyball (also represented by Belle de Manech).