Donald McCain won this with Cinders And Ashes a year ago and will be hoping WOODPOLE ACADEMY can take the same route as the subsequent Grade 1 winner. He made a promising start in a bumper before a smooth victory on heavy ground on his hurdling debut at Newcastle and there's much more to come. Orabora won a Chepstow maiden in November and was travelling well when falling three out in a better race at Exeter three weeks ago. He'll be supported to make amends and looks sure to go well while Shutthefrontdoor, unbeaten in three bumpers including two at Listed level, is surely better than he showed when beaten at long odds-on for his hurdling bow at Folkestone. Abruzzi and Many Clouds are recent winners with more to offer, especially the latter who impressed at Ascot.
Many Clouds (IRE) 7-2 (11-0) Held up in touch, hampered by loose hores 5th, went 2nd after 2 out, led flat, stayed on well, won at Ascot 2m 3f NH mdn hdl (3) sft in Nov beating Fergall (10-11) by 4l, 12 ran.
Orabora 11-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, every chance when fell 3 out, in a race won by The Italian Yob (10-9) at Exeter 2m 1f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) hvy, 14 ran.
Woodpole Academy (IRE) 13-2 (11-0) Mid-division, headway 3 out, led 2 out, clear before and hit last, eased towards finish, won at Newcastle 2m NH Maiden Hurdle (4-6yo) (5) hvy beating Lord Wishes (11-0) by 5l, 15 ran.
Abruzzi 18-1 (10-6) Held up in touch, lost place 5 out, reminders and soon outpaced, not fluent 3 out, rallied before 2 out, led 2 out, kept on well, won at Towcester 2m 3f 4yo nov stks (4) sft beating Up To Something (11-2) by 2 3/4l, 8 ran.
Josies Orders (IRE) 15-2 (10-9) Mid-division until lost place after 4th, soon behind, tailed off, 15th of 18, well behind Oscatara (10-9) at Bangor 2m 1f nov hdl (4) sft.
My Friend George 50-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway 4 out, weakened 2 out, 5th of 9, 25l behind Nodform Richard (11-2) at Hexham 2m 4f NH mdn hdl (5) gd in Mar.
Shutthefrontdoor (IRE) 1-4fav (11-0) Jumped left and not always fluent, tracked leaders, hampered 3 out, ridden after 2 out, one pace before last, 3rd of 4, 3 1/2l behind Explained (11-0) at Folkestone 2m 1f NH Maiden Hurdle (4-6yo) (5) sft in Nov.
Standing Ovation (IRE) 50-1 (10-12) Always behind, 9th of 13, 33l behind Buck's Bond (10-9) at Taunton 3m nh nov hdl (4) sft.
Teenage Dream (IRE) 25-1 (10-7) Took keen hold, held up in rear, under pressure 3 out, some headway when mistake next, kept on, never near leaders, 5th of 12, 13l behind Goodtoknow (10-11) at Towcester 2m mdn hdl (5) hvy.
What A Good Night (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Keen tracked leader, hung badly left approaching 4th, dropped to rear next, pulled up 7th, in a race won by Kenai Peninsula (10-12) at Taunton 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov, 13 ran.