Smart Stat: 40% - Harry Cobden's strike rate on hurdling favourites
Rhythm Is A Dancer admittedly made hard work of a simple task when opening his account over hurdles as a 1/7 favourite at Wincanton last month, needing to be woken up after 2 out and still only length or so up last before finally drawing clear final 1f, but that was just his second start over timber and he still looks open to plenty of improvement. He shoulders a penalty this afternoon, but this doesn't look the strongest of contests, and it may be worth chancing that Rhythm Is A Dancer is able to take a big step forward now having got a win under his belt. His strength in the market once again is encouraging, as is his jockey's record on hurdling favourites.
Smart Stat: 23% - Olly Murphy's strike rate with hurdlers running between 2m2f and up to 2m6f
General Custard hasn't followed up in two starts since opening his account at Warwick in October, but he has progressed, hitting the frame at Fakenham and Southwell respectively. His most recent start, at the latter, was slightly below par, but he didn't seem to get home over the three mile trip that day, and the drop back to 2m2f will suit. This doesn't look a strong contest, and with his trainer having a good record with hurdlers at this kind of trip, General Custard gets the vote to score.
Smart Stat: 23% - Harry Whittington's strike rate in early season
The Go Tou Man hinted that he was potentially on a fair mark when finishing second at Southwell two starts ago, and whilst he wasn't quite in the same form at Hereford last time out, that was still a respectable run and he looks worthy of another chance with a weak pace forecast. Harry Whittington has a good record at this time of year, and considering that the majority of this field have far from compelling claims, it may be worth chancing that The Go Tou Man gets into a good rhythm up front, and proves very difficult to pass.