Paddy Rodford's Sparky May has made a good start to her hurdling career with wins at Worcester and Lingfield in her two outings so far but she has to give 6lb and upwards away to her rivals so may struggle to complete the hat-trick. Seamus Mullins has two runners in the field in Exeter winner Annimation and the consistent Hill Forts Gloria with marginal preference for the former but a more likely winner is Lawney Hill's Alverstone. The daughter of Alflora was a dual bumper winner and overcame a long absence when making a winning debut over timber at Chepstow last month so she has to be respected but preference is for LINE FREEDOM. Nicky Henderson's mare showed a decent level of form in bumpers and gave every indication that she would appreciate this longer trip when staying on well to win at Towcester first time over hurdles at the beginning of the month.
Sparky May 9-2 (10-12) Held up in mid-division, smooth headway before 2 out, led and stumbled 2 out, clear when hit last, ridden out and stayed on well, won at Lingfield 2m mrs nov hdl (4) sft beating American Ladie (10-10) by 5l, 13 ran.
Alverstone 7-2 (10-2) In touch, joined leader 5 out, led next, mistake 2 out, soon clear, won at Chepstow 3m mdn hdl (5) gs in Oct beating Carlicue (11-0) by 14l, 12 ran.
Annimation (IRE) 15-2 (10-5) Led until before 5th, led again approaching 3 out, soon headed and outpaced, rallied from 2 out, led flat, stayed on well, won at Exeter 2m 3f mrs nov hdl (4) sft beating Naughty Naughty (11-2) by 1/2l, 15 ran.
Line Freedom (FR) 11-2 (10-10) Prominent, ridden to close on leader approaching last, edged right flat, led towards finish, won at Towcester 2m mares NH nov hdl (4) gs beating Risaala (10-3) by 1 3/4l, 15 ran.
Fillyofthevalley 66-1 (10-4) Held up in rear, pushed along approaching 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off and refused last, in a race won by Flaming Gorge (11-0) at Chepstow 2m NH mdn hdl (4) hvy in Apr, 7 ran.
Hill Forts Gloria (IRE) 13-8 (10-7) Led, ridden and strongly challenged approaching 2 out, soon headed, gradually weakened, 4th of 8, 10l behind Kaituna (10-10) at Plumpton 2m 5f mrs nov hdl (4) gd.
Old Dungarvan Oak (IRE) 66-1 (10-7) Mid-division, weakening when stumbled 2 out, 11th of 13, well behind Sparky May (10-12) at Lingfield 2m mrs nov hdl (4) sft.