FREE THINKING could not have been more impressive on her hurdling debut at Ludlow, winning by 13 lengths without being asked a serious question. The runner-up boosted the form at Uttoxeter on Thursday and Nicky Henderson's mare can take this step up in class in her stride. She finished ahead of Musselburgh winner Brijomi Queen in a bumper at Aintree in the spring and can lower the colours of Vicky De L'Oasis, who has won easily at Galway and Wexford this autumn but may not be suited by a drop back to 2m. As I Am is also better over further and is thoroughly exposed but The Pirate's Queen probably came up against a smart novice at Uttoxeter and can improve. Handicapper Rosie Probert may find this company too hot.
As I Am (IRE) 9-1 (11-0) Soon led, driven and headed narrowly approaching 2 out, ridden and every chance last, no extra in 3rd when edged right flat, 3rd of 13, 4l behind Highland Retreat (11-0) at Wincanton 2m 6f mrs hcp hdl (2) gs.
Brijomi Queen (IRE) 6-5fav (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway 6th, led before last, kept on, won at Musselburgh 2m mdn hdl (5) gd beating Rathvawn Belle (10-12) by 2l, 10 ran.
Free Thinking Evensfav (10-2) Always prominent, led 6th, clear 3 out, very easily, won at Ludlow 2m mdn hdl (5) gd beating Koolala (10-7) by 13l, 15 ran.
Rosie Probert 7-1 (11-12) Tracked leader, lost place 4 out, weakened before last, 9th of 19, 19l behind Quick Jack (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m nov hcp hdl (3) gd.
The Pirate's Queen (IRE) 9-4 (11-4) Mid-division, headway 5th, went 2nd approaching 3 out, mistake next, held and no impression before last, kept on for clear 2nd, 2nd of 16, 4 1/2l behind Centasia (11-4) at Uttoxeter 2m mares mdn hdl (5) sft.
Vicky De L'Oasis (FR) 8-11fav (10-7) Led after 1st and made rest, went clear travelling well 2 out, stayed on strongly run-in, not extended, won at Wexford 2m 4f hdl in Oct beating Mulleady (10-10) by 3 1/2l, 6 ran.