A little bit of the wow effect when you look at the entries for this bumper with no less than eight of them a winner last time out, and five of them unbeaten, so something has to give. With Willie Mullins team surprisingly absent, we will start with Copper Kay (7/4), a daughter of Kayf Tara who has won two out of two this season – as well as one out of two last year. Interestingly, her one loss was here last season in this very race but connections seem keen to run her again so it may be naïve to assume it was the track that ruined her chances. She does seem to have a pretty impressive turn of foot when asked so if she is anywhere near the front runners with a furlong to go look out for her withering burst of speed that may yet see her get to the front where it really matters.
Right down at the bottom of the weights thanks to her four-year-old allowance we have the Harry Whittington trained Woolstone One (15/2) who has her first crack at two miles having been found a couple of mile and a half bumpers at Newbury and Wetherby that she has won pretty comfortably. There is no reason to believe she will not get home (was running on in both her other contests), and eight pounds is an awful lot of weight to have on your side and if she is priced as nicely as we hope, each way may yet be the order of the day.
With the Philip Hobbs yard in such good form all season we just have to mention Tearsofclewbay (10/1), yet another unbeaten option after wins at Uttoxeter and Ascot and with useful claimer Conor Smith all set to take a further seven pounds off her back. The form of her last win over Theatre Territory looks pretty solid, though she does look as if she may have a bit more stamina than most and either softer going or a fast early pace may be required to see her at her best today.
Anthony Honeyball is an intriguing trainer who is a bit under the radar to most punters, but has a good string of horses and an interesting one here with Midnight Tune (25/1). After finishing second to late Night Lily at Fontwell she took a Plumpton bumper which is nothing exciting in the great scheme of things but they clearly think a lot of her and she may run better than the bare form allows for.
Last but not least and Hughie Morrison, better known for his exploits on the flat has a dark one in the once raced Sister Sibyl (20/1). She made hard work of a win at Towcester in mid December but was pretty green that day, looking around and racing on and off the bridle, but if she has improved as much as expected, then she could yet get in to a place. A daughter of King’s Theatre, who is turning in to a top National Hunt sire, she may shock a few of her better fancied rivals here and could yet make it in to a place at a decent price.