Prince Broc might be well-handicapped but the value call has to be to look elsewhere and so FESTIVAL DREAMS is nominated ahead of Jaunty Dove and Victoria State. The selection flopped over fences at Stratford last time out, however his previous hurdling form reads well. It seems like this good ground suits best and a previous winner here in May, the feeling is that he should run well off just a 2lb higher mark. Prince Broc wasn't really put in the race at Doncaster last month but he should be wiser today with Choc Thornton taking over in the saddle and it would be no surprise to see a bold bid off this career-low mark of 93, although the handicapper is taking no chances. Wham Bang drops in class but hasn't shown enough to be of interest now handicapping, which isn't a comment that applies to Just For Jean who ran her best race to date at Bangor last month coinciding with running on better ground. Stablemate Victoria State was well-held at Bangor last time but she enters handicaps off what looks a workable mark and her best run to date was on good ground last April when fourth to Black Jack Blues. Joking Aside has now dropped to a tidy mark, Jaunty Dove needs a market check as she was given a very quiet ride at Stratford last time out, whilst Direct approach has run well on good ground in the past and is likely to attract more interest today now handicapping (200/1 last two starts). Flowerbud with the first-time visor on and Shannina both have potential to do better, however the tentative vote goes to the proven course winner Festival Dreams.
Just For Jean (IRE) 14-1 (10-12) Led after 1st, headed 2 out, soon ridden, 5 lengths down when jumped right last, no extra, 2nd of 4, 6l behind Playing With Fire (11-1) at Bangor 2m 1f mares NH nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Wham Bang 150-1 (11-0) Held up behind, outpaced 4 out, weakened approaching 2 out, tailed off, last of 7, well behind Finian's Rainbow (11-8) at Ascot 2m 3f nov hdl (3) gs in Feb.
Prince Broc (FR) 25-1 (11-4) Held up, ridden approaching 3 out, no impression, 8th of 20, 23l behind Shadrack (10-6) at Doncaster 2m hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gs in Jan.
Festival Dreams 11-2 (10-5) Not fluent 2nd, jumped slowly next, soon behind, tailed off 10th, pulled up after, in a race won by Sir Ian (11-3) at Stratford 2m 4f hcp ch 0-110 (4) gd, 12 ran.
Shannina 8-1 (10-7) Led, headed after 4 out, soon weakened, eased and pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Lady Bling Bling (10-10) at Ludlow 2m 5f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gd, 13 ran.
Flowerbud 150-1 (10-5) Behind from 5th, tailed off when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Dawn At Sea (11-8) at Taunton 3m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gs in Feb, 15 ran.
Knar Mardy 28-1 (10-7) Led until after 1st, chased leaders, ridden after 4 out, weakened from next, 10th of 18, 34l behind Knight In Purple (10-4) at Doncaster 2m nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd.
Richard The Third 18-1 (10-13) Mistake 2nd, always in rear, tailed off when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Prince Geeno (11-9) at Warwick 2m 3f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) sft in Dec, 13 ran.
Direct Approach (IRE) 200-1 (11-2) Held up, pushed along after 6th, weakened from 4 out, tailed off from next, 8th of 14, well behind Cool Mission (11-2) at Doncaster 2m 3f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) gs in Feb.
Jaunty Dove 40-1 (11-2) Took keen hold, held up, headway 3 out, soon outpaced, stayed on to go 3rd 2 out, not get to front pair, 3rd of 13, 6l behind Paradise Expected (11-2) at Stratford 2m 6f Conditional Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-90) (4yo+) (5) gd.
Transporter (IRE) 40-1 (10-4) Always behind, tailed off from 3 out, pulled up, in a race won by Stick Together (10-9) at Market Rasen 2m 5f nov hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft in Feb, 14 ran.
Joking Aside (IRE) 25-1 (11-8) Held up in rear, not fluent 6th or 7th, some headway 3 out, soon weakened, 8th of 13, 46l behind Paradise Expected (11-2) at Stratford 2m 6f Conditional Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-90) (4yo+) (5) gd.
Victoria State (IRE) 50-1 (10-7) Led, jumped right 1st, headed 5th, weakened approaching 3 out, 5th of 10, 44l behind Miss Nightshade (10-9) at Bangor 2m 1f nov hdl (4) gs.
Luce Bay 33-1 (10-0) With leader, led 8th until blundered and unseated rider next, in a race won by PonchaTrain (11-5) at Leicester 2m 4f hcp ch 0-95 (5) gs in Jan, 13 ran.