Smart Stat: 21% - Dan Skelton's strike rate at LUDLOW since the start of the 2016/17 season
Hometown Hero got off the mark at the second attempt in Irish points and shaped like the best horse at the weights on his Rules debut in a maiden hurdle at October in 2020. He was given a considerate return from 15 months off at Uttoxeter last month, held up in the rear but catching the eye, yet to be asked for an effort when making a mistake three out, and staying on well after without being knocked about. There should be even more to come from him and he represents a yard that do well at this track.
Smart Stat: £67.03 - Venetia Williams's profit to a £1 level stake with chasers running after a break
Gardefort isn't getting any younger, and he isn't the most reliable, but he can boast a good record when fresh, and represents a bang in-form yard who also do well with their horses returning from a break. He also hasn't won since February 2017, so backing him does come with risks attached, but he is now 19 lb lower than that winning mark, and he has a very capable, in-form amateur rider taking off a valuable 7 lb, so there are reasons to be positive about his chance.
Smart Stat: 22% - Hollie Doyle's strike rate at NEWCASTLE
Rose of Lancashire is just a modest maiden, but she has caught the eye on her last two starts, and gets the assistance of Hollie Doyle, who rides this track very well, for the first time now. She wasn't helped by some scrimmaging early in the race that day, but made some good headway around two furlongs out, leaving the impression she is still in top form, and she definitely has the ability to win a race of this nature.