Don McCain took this Novice Hurdle last season and he has a chance of a repeat with Flicka's Witness but PURE FAITH sets the standard and gets the nod while Yeomanry looks the only other to give serious thought about. The pick finally got his act together over timber last time with a decent run in a good looking Aintree contest. He was a twice bumper winner so obviously has the talent so if building on that last run he should win here. Flicka's Witness certainly looks to have what it takes to win a race of this ilk after three decent runs to date including on his first start over hurdles last time. He's shaped as if he needs a bigger test of stamina but in this race should be a live one. Yeomanry is an Irish import for Ian Williams who has shown an aptitude for racing in a couple of bumpers and on his timber bow. There should be plenty more to come so he looks good for a big race. Outside these three the others are hard to recommend so we'll stick with Pure Faith.
Carraigh Na Loine 100-1 (10-12) In rear, tailed off after 5th, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by City Theatre (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft in Nov, 10 ran.
Flicka's Witness (IRE) 13-2 (11-0) Chased leaders, jumped left 3rd, chased winner approaching 2 out, weakening when hit last, 3rd of 11, 7l behind Total Submission (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m mdn hdl (5) gs in May.
Humbel Lad (IRE) 20-1 (12-0) in a race won by Marfleet (12-0) at Witton Castle 3m ptp gf in May, 9 ran.
Mr Chippy (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, weakened after 4 out, 9th of 11, 21l behind Total Submission (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m mdn hdl (5) gs in May.
Patrick Dee 250-1 (10-5) Held up in rear, some headway before 3 out, soon beaten, last of 12, well behind Clerk's Choice (10-12) at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in May.
Pure Faith (IRE) 9-1 (10-9) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 3 out, chased winner next, every chance last, stayed on same pace flat, 3rd of 18, 3 1/2l behind Astracad (10-7) at Aintree 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in May.
Simbamead 33-1 (10-9) Led until soon after 1st, soon held up, ridden and struggling 4 out, tailed off, 7th of 8, well behind Washango (10-0) at Worcester 2m nov hdl (4) gf in May.
Yeomanry 9-1 (11-9) Always prominent, mistake 1st, reminders 3rd, moderate 2nd 5 out, improved to challenge when mistake 3 out, led next, headed before last, kept on, no chance with winner, 2nd of 15, 8l behind Day Of Destiny (11-9) at Fairyhouse 2m 5yo mdn hdl hvy in Apr.
O'callaghan Strand (AUS) Galileo gelding out of New Gold Dream.