Smart Stat: 2 - Olly Murphy's number of winners in the past ten runnings
Olly Murphy has won two of the last four editions of this novices' hurdle - he also sent out the third two seasons ago - and his representatives are always entitled to respect. This time he saddles Barony Legends, who was well held in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham last time but had won a maiden hurdle by a wide margin at Lingfield on his previous start. He should appreciate this return to calmer waters.
Smart Stat: £29.42 - Charlie Appleby's profit to a £1 level stake with debutants
Charlie Appleby boasts a healthy level-stake profit with his debutants, which suggests his newcomers are rarely short of fitness or knowhow at the first attempt. At Southwell this afternoon Appleby introduces the well-bred New Comedy, who is by Sea The Stars and out of the lightly-raced listed winner Tearless. The dam's two runners have both won, including one at listed level.
Smart Stat: £41.20 - Joseph O'Brien's profit to a £1 level stake with horses running after a break
Royal Dynasty hasn't run since July, when she made her final start for Mohamed Moubarak, but a lack of fitness is rarely a legitimate excuse for horses hailing from Joseph O'Brien's yard. O'Brien posts a good level-stake profit with horses running after a break and Royal Dynasty is an interesting recruit given the level of form she showed for her previous yard.