In a race where it’s easy enough to pick holes in those at the top at the betting, the one that stood out on the early prices was last year’s Champion Bumper 3rd Thyme Hill.
He’s bred to make a useful hurdler and a repeat of his bumper form will see him on the premises should he be primed for this first run.
Wejdan was very impressive on debut and, although he didn’t quite live up to expectations in the Lowther, it was telling that William Haggas deemed him good enough for that race on just his second start.
This step up in trip is a positive and he looks likely to progress further.
Cayenne Pepper progressed with each run and tops the Timeform adjusted ratings in a bid to maintain her unbeaten record in this usually top-class race.
She looked thoroughly professional last time, and her likeable attitude should stand her in good stead as she tackles what should be her toughest rivals to date.
The first horse to catch the eye in this valuable handicap was one of those to be running from just outside the handicap – Battle of Paradise.
It is very unlike Sir Mark Prescott to just throw a horse in this type of race and that is perhaps a tip in itself. He looked much more professional last time having been gelded and could well have been underestimated by the handicapper despite him being 1 lb out of the weights.