Eva’s Diva showed ability in bumpers, finishing runner-up on two occasions, and has upped her game since being switched to hurdles. She made an encouraging start to life in this sphere when second at Wincanton in October before failing to progress when turned out quickly at Fakenham shortly after.
Two runner-up finishes in her previous two outings have seen her improve again however and, with those two efforts the best form on offer in this contest, she may well take the beating here in her current mood.
A runner-up on his sole start in points, Kilbrew Boy had something of a tough time of it when making the transition to Rules, before gradually finding his feet over hurdles last season.
Ben Case’s charge shaped as though he’d be better for the run when third on chase debut at Kempton last month and that certainly proved to be the case, as he subsequently went two better at Wincanton to get off the mark over fences.
He looks open to further improvement in this sphere for a yard currently in red-hot form so gets the vote to make it back-to-back victories.
Swilly Sunset took a step back in the right direction when finishing fourth at Market Rasen on his return hurdles earlier this month. That was his first start for Alex Hales and there were definite signs that a new yard could eke out further improvement.
Hales’s charge has shown no better than modest form over hurdles so far, but was fairly useful on the Flat at his best so this mark shouldn’t prove beyond him and, with the booking of Kielan Woods a positive, a big run could be on the cards.
*Prices correct at time of publishing