This appears to be a fair race. QUIDONC may be the way to go but there are some interesting alternatives in the form of Arctic Ben and Balthazar King amongst others. Quidonc showed ability over hurdles in France and made his British debut in a pretty warm race at Huntingdon. The favourite had shown useful form in bumpers last season whilst the winner, Shoreacres, appears to be an above average recruit. Quidonc was 12 lengths back in third but he may not need to improve on that form to land this contest. Arctic Ben should come on for his outing in a fair contest at Uttoxeter, this step up in trip should suit and he did win his bumper at this track. Balthazar King didn't show a great deal on his first two outings but is clearly heading the right way and has to be respected on his hurdling bow for a yard with a good strike rate here. Burnswood's bumper form puts him in the frame and he's worth a market check whilst Tragic Realm represents the track's leading trainer. So, several of the nine runners are of interest but it's Quidonc that will carry ours.
Arctic Ben (IRE) 6-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 3 out, beaten before 2 out, soon drifted left, 5th of 16, 14l behind Hunters Ploy (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m mdn hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Balthazar King (IRE) 5-1 (11-2) Held up, tracked leader over 7f out, led over 1f out, kept on, won at Plumpton 2m 2f mdn nhf (6) gs beating Rhinestone Ruby (10-9) by 4l, 11 ran.
Bold Shuffle (IRE) 66-1 (10-7) Mistake 3 out, always towards rear, 11th of 15, 31l behind Micheal Flips (11-0) at Stratford 2m mdn hdl (3) gf in Oct.
Burnswood (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) In touch, weakened 4 out, behind when pulled up 3 out in race won by Massasoit (10-12) at Aintree 2m 4f nh nov hdl (3) sft in Oct, 16 ran.
Illogical Hope (IRE) 100-1 (11-4) Always towards rear, 12th of 13, well behind Crescent Island (11-4) at Newbury 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Minella Theatre (IRE) 22-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, led 7th, ridden and headed before 3 out, soon weakened, 12th of 17, well behind Award Winner (10-12) at Exeter 2m 3f nh nov hdl (3) gs.
Quidonc (FR) 9-1 (11-0) In touch, headway before 3 out, soon chasing leaders, driven to challenge next, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 11, 12l behind Shoreacres (11-0) at Huntingdon 2m nh mdn hdl (5) gd.
Tragic Realm 15-2 (10-13) Mid-division, headway 7f out, ridden over 3f out, stayed on from over 1f out, 3rd of 14, 5l behind Cypress Grove (11-4) at Fontwell 2m 2f nhf (6) gd in Oct.
Wilkinson (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Held up mid-division, never on terms, 8th of 14, 39l behind Lake Legend (10-12) at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gd.