Nicky Henderson won this a couple of years ago and his mare Forever Present will be fancied, despite racing for the first time in almost a year. But there are also possibilities about Mr Cardle, second in a couple of bumpers so far, and last month's Wincanton fourth Audacious Plan. Winged Crusader should improve now facing a set of hurdles but Sand Artist makes his racecourse debut. THEATREBAR has plenty of stamina in his pedigree and has been doing his best work at the finish in bumpers. He should be in his element over this trip and can make a winning start to his hurdling career.
Audacious Plan (IRE) 5-1 (11-0) Soon chasing leader, led 6th, headed 3 out, no extra next, 4th of 10, 11l behind Premier Portrait (11-0) at Worcester 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) sft in Oct.
Church Hall (IRE) 14-1 (10-7) Took keen hold tracking leaders in 4th, challenged on inside 2 out, led between last 2, 4 lengths ahead and going strongly when blundered and unseated rider last, in a race won by Houndscourt (10-12) at Southwell 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft, 5 ran.
Guest Of Honour (FR) 50-1 (10-9) Mid-division, lost place 5th, soon behind, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Chase The Spud (10-12) at Huntingdon 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs, 10 ran.
Hare In A Round (IRE) 25-1 (10-9) Led, not fluent 1st or 5th, headed when mistake 3 out, weakening when hit next, 9th of 13, 28l behind Gallery Exhibition (11-0) at Ludlow 2m 5f hdl (3) gd.
Moss On The Mill 16-1 (10-13) Tracked leader, lost place over 4f out, 5th of 8, 21l behind Ready Token (11-1) at Southwell 2m cond NH flat (6) hvy in Mar.
Mr Cardle (IRE) 8-1 (10-11) Held up in rear, headway over 5f out, soon chasing leaders, stayed on to go 2nd inside final furlong, no chance with winner, 2nd of 11, 7l behind Urban Hymn (11-2) at Huntingdon 2m NH flat (6) gs.
Pembroke House 100-1 (11-0) Mid-division, not fluent 1st, closed after 3rd, outpaced after 6th, stayed on from 2 out, went 4th last, no impression, 4th of 15, 17l behind Free Thinking (10-2) at Ludlow 2m mdn hdl (5) gd.
Radharc Nahabhainn (IRE) 100-1 (10-7) Prominent 12f, 16th of 18, 41l behind Carningli (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m NH flat (4) gs in Oct.
Sand Artist (IRE) Sandmason gelding out of Belon Breeze.
Theatrebar 5-1 (11-4) Chased leader, pushed along over 4f out, ridden chasing winner 3f out, no impression when lost 2nd 2f out, kept on pressing for 2nd, no chance with easy winner, 3rd of 8, 13l behind Wilde Blue Yonder (11-4) at Uttoxeter 2m NH flat (6) sft.
Westerly Breeze (IRE) 12-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, weakened over 3f out, 7th of 9, 31l behind Deputy Dan (11-9) at Exeter 2m 1f NH flat (6) sft in Apr.
Wheelavim 66-1 (11-4) Last pair but in touch, pushed along 6f out, soon outpaced, tailed off, last of 5, well behind Centasia (11-4) at Ludlow 1m 6f NH flat (5) sft in Jan.
Winged Crusader (IRE) 7-1 (11-3) In touch, outpaced 3f out, soon ridden, no impression final 2f, 5th of 12, 20l behind Frankie's Promise (11-10) at Perth 2m NH flat (5) gs in Apr.
Forever Present (IRE) 11-4 (10-10) In touch, headway approaching 4th, chased leaders next, went 2nd before 3 out, led 3 out, driven and pressed 2 out, soon headed, 3rd and well held when mistake last, hung left under pressure flat, 3rd of 11, 10l behind Young Victoria (11-2) at Exeter 2m 3f mrs nov hdl (4) gs in Nov '12.