Winning bumper THUNDERSTORM was well beaten in his first four starts over timber but someone must have seen something as he was heavily backed when obliging at Plumpton last month. He won cleverly that day under AP McCoy and the combination should follow up off just 5lb higher. Goat Castle has now gone 21 starts over hurdles without winning and is difficult to fancy despite a couple of good runs at Hexham and Warwick. Ruby Crown is well handicapped on her best form but has been running poorly while Henok should appreciate reverting to the minimum trip after failing to stay 2m5f at Market Rasen on Boxing Day. Lean Burn scored twice in November but ran poorly in much more testing conditions at Bangor last month.
Walter De La Mare (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) In rear, struggling from 6th, finished in own time, 5th of 6, well behind Saints And Sinners (11-7) at Market Rasen 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.
Henok (FR) 15-8fav (11-12) Keen held up in rear, last of 6, 32l behind Killimore Cottage (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 5f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.
Ruby Crown 33-1 (10-4) Held up, pushed along after 3 out, never on terms, tailed off, 7th of 12, well behind Queens Grove (11-2) at Hereford 2m 4f Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-120) (3yo+) (4) hvy in Dec.
Super Collider 9-1 (11-3) Behind, struggling 5th, never dangerous, 11th of 13, 49l behind Drussell (11-2) at Ludlow 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) sft in Dec.
Thunderstorm (IRE) 5-2 (11-9) Keen held up in rear, smooth headway 3 out, went 2nd 2 out, led soon after last, ran on, readily, won at Plumpton 2m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) hvy in Dec beating Just Beware (10-13) by 1 1/4l, 7 ran.
Lean Burn (USA) 7-2fav (11-3) Always towards rear, never involved, 8th of 11, 28l behind Majestic Bull (10-5) at Bangor 2m 1f hcp hdl (5) hvy in Dec.
Goat Castle (IRE) 7-2fav (9-11) Mid-division, headway 7th, challenged 3 out, no impression when not fluent next, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 13, 13l behind Spanish Arch (11-9) at Warwick 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-105 (4) sft in Dec.
Crazy Bold (GER) 7-1 (10-13) Tracked leaders, not fluent 4th, jumped left and led 2 out, soon headed, no impression on leaders when left 3rd last, 3rd of 11, 16l behind Stravita (11-5) at Hereford 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.
June French (FR) 66-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, some headway after 5th, weakened from 3 out, tailed off, 8th of 11, 42l behind Weather Babe (11-0) at Towcester 2m Mares NH Novice Hurdle (3yo+) (4) sft in Dec.