Heross du Seuil - 13:37 Warwick
Smart Stat: 2 - Nicky Henderson's number of winners in past 10 runnings
Formerly trained in France by Mickael Seror, Heross du Seuil looked a bright prospect when making a successful hurdling debut for Nicky Henderson at Kempton in December, keeping going well to beat a subsequent listed winner by 10 lengths. Admittedly, his task was made easier by his main market rival falling at the last with the outcome in the balance, but that still represented a very encouraging start to his career on these shores. In fact, Heross du Seuil achieved a level of form at Kempton that comfortably sets the standard in this line-up, and, with further improvement on the cards, he is fancied to make it two from two over hurdles for the Henderson yard that is seeking its third win in this race since 2012.
Byford - 14:20 Lingfield
Smart Stat: 18% - Ivan Furtado's strike rate with handicap debutants
Byford won a maiden in France on his penultimate outing and then showed improved form to defy a penalty in a novice event at Wolverhampton last time. Settled just behind the leaders in the early stages at Wolverhampton, he was produced to entering the straight and stuck to his task well to land the spoils by a length and a quarter from a fairly useful rival, with the first two pulling well clear of the rest. Byford now makes the switch to handicaps and will command plenty of respect from an opening mark of 87, with the small 'p' attached to his Timeform rating denoting that he may not have finished improving yet.
Moonamacaroona - 16:53 Warwick
Smart Stat: 20% - Alan King's strike rate at Warwick since the start of the 2015/16 season
Moonamacaroona shaped well and was arguably unlucky not to finish closer when third on her debut at Market Rasen in November. She was held up in the early stages and still had plenty of ground to make up three furlongs out, but the way she finished her race was encouraging, staying on strongly under a hands-and-heels ride to be beaten on four lengths by one who had the benefit of previous experience. That form reads very well in the context of this race, so Moonamacaroona rates a confident selection to open her account at the second attempt for Alan King, who has enjoyed plenty of success at Warwick in recent seasons.