Sweet Oona has become something of a bookies benefit of late but she has an obvious chance in the opener with Madam Caversfield and The Rip nominated as dangers. Sweet Oona is seemingly the only horse of Venetia Williams not to be winning races at the moment. A record of five seconds from nine starts is hardly one to inspire confidence but she has been up against progressive types and there appears to be plenty of deadwood here. Madam Caversfield is tried in first time cheekpieces. She too has kept stronger company but is a little agricultural in terms of her jumping technique. The Rip has had seventeen unsuccessful attempts to break his maiden. Connections booked Liam Heard for the job in a Hands and Heels race and the jockey can be forgiven for only finishing fourth as this horse appears to need plenty of driving. Ishka Baba was hopelessly out of her depth in the EBF Mares final at Newbury. Connections appear not to have got to the bottom of her trip. Barella made no impression on a recent run at Wolverhampton but the stable had a winner prior to Christmas and the market is watched. Kentford Lady would have a chance on her bumper form but she has beaten very few home on her most recent starts. Bolitree Bob is a notorious hard puller and will need to be settled early in order to have any chance. Sweet Oona really has few excuses if she fails to win this contest and we will nominate her accordingly.
Sweet Oona (FR) 11-4jt-fav (11-7) Mid-division, hit 3rd, headway next, every chance but not fluent 3 out, soon ridden, weakened 2 out, 4th of 11, 25l behind Seveneightsix (9-7) at Leicester 2m 4f mrs hcp hdl (E) gs in Nov.
Barella (IRE) 7-1 (10-13) Rear of mid-division, no extra from 4 out, 14th of 16, 22l behind Dare To Dance (10-7) at Wexford 2m hcp hdl 0-116 gf in Aug.
Bollitree Bob 20-1 (10-7) Pulled hard in rear, headway to track leaders 2nd, weakened after 4th, 9th of 11, well behind Inaro (11-0) at Exeter 2m 1f nh nov hdl (E) sft.
Kentford Lady 40-1 (10-12) Behind, pecked 4th, brief effort approaching 3 out, soon beaten, 7th of 14, 18l behind Ballyhoo (10-5) at Newbury 2m 5f mrs nov hdl (E) gd in Nov.
Ishka Baha (IRE) 7-1 (10-7) Held up mid-division, good headway 3 out, chasing leaders after next, weakened flat, 5th of 17, 8l behind Caesarean Hunter (10-7) at Doncaster 2m cnd nov hcp hdl (E) gd.
The Rip 3-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway on bit 3 out, kept on same pace, 4th of 9, 16l behind Albarino (11-9) at Wincanton 2m cnd nov hcp hdl (E) gd in Nov.
Waziri (IRE) 10-1 (10-3) Held up in rear, mistake 3rd, headway 6th, ridden 3 out, weakened 2 out, 5th of 11, 25l behind She's Our Native (11-3) at Ludlow 2m 5f amt hcp hdl (E) gs.
Madam Caversfield 12-1 (10-0) In touch, hit 1st, ridden 3 out, not fluent last, no extra flat, 3rd of 11, 3 1/2l behind Patman Du Charmil (11-5) at Warwick 2m 3yo nov hdl (E) sft.