HIGHWAY CODE is a rare runner here for Herefordshire trainer Richard Lee and, judged on his last couple of runs over fences at Plumpton and Chepstow, the seven-year-old should be opening his account in this under ideal conditions. Granville Island will almost certainly improve on his debut over the larger obstacles at Bangor, however, while Shadows Lengthen, a winner six times on the all-weather and twice over hurdles, was only beaten a head at Catterick on his chasing bow and also warrants serious consideration. Badgers Retreat and Smart Act need to improve on their hurdles form to win this.
Badgers Retreat 25-1 (11-5) Held up in rear, under pressure 4 out, stayed on approaching last, never on terms, 4th of 6, 13l behind Aye Well (11-3) at Catterick 2m nov hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft in Dec.
Granville Island (IRE) 9-2 (11-0) Led, not fluent 3rd, headed after 3 out, already lost 2nd when mistake next, weakened and no chance with leading duo, 3rd of 4, 37l behind Tenor Nivernais (10-11) at Bangor 2m 1f nov chs (4) sft in Dec.
Highway Code (USA) 7-1 (11-4) Mid-division, tracked leaders 7th, challenged 5 out, led 2 out, ridden and headed approaching last, kept on same pace, no impression with winner flat, lost 2nd near finish, 3rd of 10, 5l behind Triptico (11-2) at Chepstow 2m 3f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec.
Shadows Lengthen 9-1 (10-11) Held up behind, blundered 3rd, headway under presure before 3 out, ridden after last, rallied and every chance towards finish, just held, 3rd of 9, hd behind Jackies Solitaire (9-13) at Catterick 2m beg chs (3) hvy in Dec.
Smart Act (IRE) 8-1 (11-1) Led to 4th, ridden and weakened before 2 out, 5th of 7, 42l behind Mitchell's Way (11-9) at Carlisle 2m 3f nov hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft in Nov.