SHERNANDO won a maiden hurdle at this track last month and Nicky Henderson's charge looks up to giving weight to a couple of less exposed rivals. The latter includes Mcllhatton, placed at Doncaster last time and having only his third start over timber, while Minellaforlunch showed some promise when fifth on his hurdling debut at Ascot. The remainder have plenty of catching up to do if they're to figure and Native Colony could prove best of those. He finished third over these hurdles back in October and is preferred to points winner, Now Then Charlie, who has failed to complete either start under Rules.
Shernando 7-4fav (11-8) Held up in 6th, steady headway approaching 3 out, went close 4th when switched right then left before 2 out, went 2nd after 2 out, soon driven, no impression before last, 2nd of 9, 4 1/2l behind Salmanazar (11-1) at Kempton 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Mar.
Buffy The Beatle 50-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, mistake 6th, pushed along after next, soon no impression, well behind when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Neltara (10-12) at Uttoxeter 3m nov hdl (4) gd, 11 ran.
Clonusker (IRE) 200-1 (11-2) Always behind, mistake 5th, never a factor, 11th of 13, well behind Leviathan (11-2) at Plumpton 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Feb.
Kicking Time (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, mistake 1st, soon dropped to mid-division, bad mistake and lost place 3rd, behind 6th, pulled up before next, in a race won by Tick Tocker (10-6) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f 4yo mdn stks (5) gd, 12 ran.
Mcllhatton (IRE) 12-1 (10-13) Tracked leaders, chased winner from 3 out until before last, kept on, 3rd of 13, 9l behind African Gold (11-12) at Doncaster 2m 3f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) sft in Feb.
Minellaforlunch (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, headway to mid-division 7th, strugging soon after 3 out, stayed on from next, one pace 5th before last, 5th of 15, 5l behind Forresters Folly (11-0) at Ascot 2m 3f mdn hdl (4) gd.
Native Colony 33-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, headway after 3 out, soon under pressure, weakened before last, 5th of 6, 30l behind Smart Exit (10-12) at Fakenham 2m 7f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft in Jan.
Now Then Charlie (IRE) 10-1 (11-0) Prominent, not fluent 2nd, weakened approaching 3 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Western Jo (11-0) at Chepstow 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gs, 12 ran.
Rasheed 25-1 (10-13) Held up, behind from 4th, tailed off, 7th of 11, well behind Springinherstep (10-6) at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs.
Cappielow Park 10-1 (10-4) Took keen hold tracking leaders, hit 3 out, soon went 2nd, every chance 2 out, weakened before last, lost 2nd closing stages, 3rd of 4, 17l behind County Zen (10-7) at Fakenham 2m 4f sell hdl (5) gd.
Red Mystique (IRE) 20-1 (10-7) Towards rear, slow jump and pushed along 5th, mistake next, left poor 5th 7th, soon weakened, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Up To Something (11-6) at Fontwell 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft.