Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings for this mares' handicap hurdle (14:45) are headed by The Height of Fame (130), who returned from eight weeks off with a decisive victory at Wincanton last time, hitting the front three out and gradually drawing clear from there to win by nine and a half lengths with plenty in hand. This will be tougher following a 7 lb rise in the weights, but she was progressive when completing a four-timer in the first part of last season and it's not out of the question that she could have more to offer now that she's rediscovered the winning habit.
Belles Benefit (129) wasn't beaten far from a 1 lb lower mark at Wetherby in October and she holds each-way claims again now tried in cheekpieces by Ben Case, who has the 'Hot Trainer' Flag to denote that his yard is in top form. Lucy Wadham is another with the 'Hot Trainer' Flag and she saddles a runner with a decent shout in the shape of Pretending (128+), who produced her best effort last season when faring best of the rest behind the useful Under Control at Cheltenham in April. She returned from seven months off with another encouraging display at Fakenham last time, leaving the impression she would have gone close but for falling two out.
A Tickatickatiming (128) and All The Glory (125) are a couple of others to consider. A Tickatickatiming showed improved form to get off the mark over hurdles at this course last month, holding on gamely when challenged late on to get the verdict by a neck. She is still low mileage in this sphere and it will be interesting to see what she can do now making the switch to handicaps. All The Glory, on the other hand, has the benefit of plenty of experience, though this will be her first start in a handicap and it looks an easier task than when trying to concede a penalty to a useful prospect over this course and distance last time.
The field is completed by Ilovethenightlife (128) and Iorens (127). Ilovethenightlife achieved a fairly useful level of form last season, notably winning the "National Hunt" Mares' Novices' Hurdle Final at Newbury, but she then ran no sort of race when pulled up on her return from seven months off at Wincanton last time. As for Iorens, she is conceding race fitness to each of her six rivals and even her best form last term leaves her with a bit to find to defy this sort of mark for Dan Skelton, who also has the 'Hot Trainer' Flag.
Timeform Analyst's Verdict:
The Height of Fame won well at Wincanton last time so she rates as the main player. A Tickatickatiming and All The Glory are another couple worthy of a mention.
Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings:
130 The Height of Fame
129 Belles Benefit
128 A Tickatickatiming
125 All The Glory
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