Puffin Billy won a Grade 2 at Ascot in December and was fifth in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle here at The Festival. That's the best form on offer but he has to give weight to all of his rivals today and might prefer softer ground. KARINGA DANCER has made giant strides this year and never came off the bridle in beating a previous winner by 14 lengths over this trip at Taunton last time. He can take this step up in class in his stride and complete the four-timer. Whisper wasn't disgraced in a Grade 3 handicap at Sandown last time and looks the pick of the remainder, though Valdez has some decent form in the book and Annacotty and Bob Ford are still heading in the right direction. The latter, however, already seems to need 3m.
Puffin Billy (IRE) 14-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, headway to track leaders when hit 3 out, 5th when blundered next, weakened before last, 5th of 12, 23l behind Champagne Fever (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) sft in Mar.
Annacotty (IRE) 9-4fav (11-5) Chased leaders, chased leader 2nd until 4th, remained in close 3rd, went 2nd again before 3 out, led before last, stayed on well flat, won at Haydock 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Mar beating Nowdoro (10-7) by 8l, 11 ran.
Bob Ford (IRE) 7-2 (11-8) Made all, hit 4th, mistake 4 out, clear before 3 out, eased run-in, very easily, won at Ffos Las 3m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Mar beating Seebright (11-8) by well, 4 ran.
Valdez 20-1 (11-6) Held up in mid-division, weakened on long run to 2 out, tailed off, 11th of 19, well behind First Avenue (10-5) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) hvy in Mar.
Whisper (FR) 9-2fav (11-8) Mid-division, well in touch 3rd, disputing lead before 2 out, not fluent 2 out, kept on pressing for 2nd until dropped to 3rd post, 4th of 16, 13l behind Close Touch (11-6) at Sandown 2m 4f NH Novice Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (4-7yo) (1) hvy in Mar.
Sankyouplease (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Behind, outpaced over 4f out, stayed on over 2f out, never able to challenge, 4th of 8, 16l behind Steel City (11-0) at Ffos Las 2m nhf (6) sft in Mar.
Karinga Dancer 8-11fav (11-6) In touch on inside, headway before 6th, went 2nd next, mistake 3 out, led and hit 2 out, soon clear easily, won at Taunton 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gf beating Fox Run (11-7) by 14l, 13 ran.