Light In The Sky won on the Flat in France in the autumn and has joined a top stable for his hurdling career, but bumper winner HUNTING PERCIVAL sets a fair standard on the form of his Ludlow third in January and has plenty of scope for further progress.
Useful Flat-racer Timoshenko won over C&D on his recent hurdle debut and also has a significant role to play.
Graeme McPherson’s mare JESSICA RABBIT (NAP) ran well for a long way and gave a very good account of herself in a recent 2m 4f Southwell novice. She’s 6lb ahead of the handicapper here and can open her account over the longer trip.
Lamh Ar Lamh didn’t take to chasing in the autumn, but is well handicapped for today’s return to hurdling. Quivvy Lough, Viking Ruby and Perle Rose are others to consider.
Although Franz Klammer shaped better last time and has a big chance on ratings, he needs to replicate that run and a more reliable option should be LEMON SHOULDER, who was a creditable third on his handicap debut and can improve over this longer distance.
Others to consider include Connective, Tis Fantastic and Alanjou.
The one to beat is MINELLA WARRIOR, who ran to a very useful level when placed on his chasing debut at Cheltenham in October and was reportedly unsuited by the slow ground when pulled up there a few weeks later.
Young Wolf has the second-best chance on the figures, but a bigger threat to the selection may come from Darling Maltaix, who has chasing experience and a recent run on his side.
Harry Fry’s five-year-old GET BACK GET BACK is slightly ahead of the handicapper after a good effort in defeat over C&D a week ago and is not yet fully exposed over hurdles.
He gets the nod but John Constable, who has slipped to a very attractive mark and will be suited by today’s return to good ground, will be greatly feared if strong in the betting. Dream Machine is next on the list.
Monsieur Gibraltar is back with Paul Nicholls after a prolific spell in points/hunter chases for Rose Loxton but he faces much tougher opposition this time.
The suggestion is habitual front-runner MERCIAN PRINCE, who has slipped to an attractive mark over fences and put some disappointing efforts behind him when winning a recent novice hurdle.
Solar Impulse lacks a recent run and has a slight stamina doubt over 2m 4f but ran well in a strong race at Newbury on his latest outing and is second choice.
Handicap debutant Dog Of War has to be of interest for the Skelton team but he faces quite a stiff task and there are others lurking on potentially better marks, most notably Cotswold Prince and MYSTIC COURT.
Ben Pauling’s runner was promising before seeming to lose his confidence after a fall and could be nicely treated here if rejuvenated after his break.
Espalion and Mega Double bring solid handicap form to the table and are respected, while Airton would be a threat if on a going day.
A few of these warrant consideration, but the handicapper has given a very good chance to SONOFTHEKING, who was placed off a 12lb higher mark over C&D in October and has a pretty good record when fresh.
Hurricane Arcadio disappointed when last in action but could have untapped potential over 3m and is second choice.
The Happy Chappy was placed off today’s much reduced mark here this month, while Lady London makes her debut for a new stable and is also of interest.
Mini Crest displayed ability over C&D on her recent debut and is open to improvement but it’s very hard to get away from TRAIN HILL.
He joined Charlie Longsdon after beating his 15 rivals on his debut at Limerick last month.
* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.
- Horse Racing Tips: Our 3 best bets for Sandown today
- Horse Racing Tips: 8 we rate for Pontefract on Thursday
- Horse Racing tips: 4 to score from the trading floor at Pontefract and Leopardstown on Thursday
- Horse Racing tips: The best bets from the ENTIRE card at Leopardstown on Thursday