Lordsbridge Girl - 12:33 Lingfield
Lordsbridge Girl has shown improved form since switching to handicaps, narrowly beaten on her debut in this sphere and shaping better than the bare result at Southwell two starts back. Admittedly, she barely needed to improve to open her account at Kempton last time, but she was given a confident ride to beat an in-form sort. That form is working out well, with the runner-up and fourth both winning next time. Lordsbridge Girl is just 3 lb higher now in a race which doesn't look as competitive, so she is fancied to follow up with Jamie Spencer retaining the ride.
Gilbertina won a juvenile hurdle at this course in March 2021 but she has been lightly raced in recent years. However, she proved better than ever when making a winning return at Market Rasen on Boxing Day, defying odds of 40/1 to narrowly beat an in-form sort by a head. That was only her second start in a handicap and she relished the step up in trip, outpaced between the last two flights but staying on best of all to lead at the line. Gilbertina will be suited by this even longer trip and she remains potentially well treated from 3 lb higher.
Parmenion showed fairly useful form when winning his sole start on the Flat in France and was well fancied to make a winning start for these connections in an above-average maiden hurdle at Leopardstown last month won by one-time Derby favourite High Definition. That was his first start for 19 months and he shaped encouragingly for all he was unable to land the odds, leaving the impression he would come on a bundle for the experience. This race doesn't look as deep and he may prove a tough nut to crack for leading connections.
Punctuation - 16:10 Cheltenham
Punctuation is unbeaten since joining Fergal O’Brien, recording another career-best effort when completing a four-timer over this course and distance last month. The hurdles in the straight were omitted that day due to low sun, so it turned into a sprint finish, but there was still plenty to like about the manner in which Punctuation went about his business, and he is very much a horse to keep on the right side. The handicapper has raised him another 8 lb, but he should be better suited by this test, and he is taken progress again to extend his winning sequence.
Barrier Peaks - 16:17 Uttoxeter
Barrier Peaks showed his first meaningful piece of form over hurdles on handicap debut at Ffos Las just before Christmas and progressed as expected when opening his account at Exeter 18 days ago. He relished his first try beyond two miles in testing conditions, again impressing with how strongly he travelled through his race but this time also finding a finishing effort to match. There should be plenty more to come from him at this sort of trip and he is fancied to defy a 10 lb rise in the weights.
Ziggy is relatively lightly raced for a five-year-old and has looked better than ever on his last two starts on all-weather, displaying a smart turn of foot when winning a mile and a half handicap at this track in November and bettering that effort when runner-up in a fast-track qualifier over a mile and a quarter at Newcastle last time. He is clearly on an upward curve (has recorded a career best in three of his last four starts) and he will relish the extra furlong he faces here, while this race also has the potential to be run at a strong pace. He looks very well treated back in a handicap off just 3 lb higher than his last winning mark, too, so there is plenty to like about his chance.