Hawk High showed useful form when successful on two of his first four starts over fences last term – once over this course and distance – and returned in good heart when runner-up on his reappearance in November. He ran to a similar level last month, again over this course and distance, but was no match for one who managed to take advantage of a drop in the weights. Hawk High goes off the same mark as last time here, which looks an attractive one based on his hurdles form, and may have been found an excellent opportunity to open his account for the season.
Maridadi made plenty of appeal on paper prior to her Rules debut, being a half-sister to three winners, and shaped encouragingly, despite looking in need of the experience. She ran green in the Newbury bumper, and still had plenty to do when shaken up entering the straight, but she kept on well in the final furlong and looks more than capable of winning a similar event. She is open to plenty of improvement and will take some beating with that run now under her belt.
Doc Penfro shaped as if needing the run when fourth at Stratford on his first outing for Emma Lavelle in October, and stepped up markedly on that run eight weeks later when a comfortable winner at Bangor on his handicap debut. That may only have been a small-field event, but he would have probably won it by further had it been a truly-run race. There should be more to come from Emma Lavelle’s lightly raced hurdler, so he gets the vote to follow up and land this big-field handicap.