Midnight Mustang looks up against it but the remainder can all be given a chance of sorts. Better is expected from Spitfire Ace on only his second start over timber and Swift Escape should have come on for his comeback outing at Worcester last month. Bumper winner Dardanella is sure to figure if taking to the obstacles but HOPSTRINGS is just preferred. She's found the progressive As I Am too good on her last couple of starts in novice events including over track and trip last time but doesn't meet anything of that calibre in this and can go one better.
Midnight Mustang 80-1 (10-5) Tracked leaders in 3rd, weakened from 4 out, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Sud Pacifique (11-4) at Stratford 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Aug '12.
Spitfire Ace (IRE) 5-2 (10-9) Tracked leaders, jumped left 2nd, no chance with winner from before 2 out, lost 2nd flat, 3rd of 8, 32l behind Thomas Crapper (11-4) at Towcester 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) hvy in Dec.
Swift Escape 5-1 (11-0) Mid-division, headway after 5th, ridden 3 out, went 3rd towards finish, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 14, 11l behind Orthodox Lad (11-0) at Worcester 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Jul.
Dardanella 5-4fav (10-9) Tracked leaders, challenged over 3f out, led over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on, won at Newton Abbot 2m 1f mdn NH flat (5) gf in Jul beating Laurens Ruby (10-7) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
Hopstrings 10-1 (10-10) Tracked leaders, jumped slowly and lost place 6th, headway 3 out, driven to chase winner before next, no impression, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 6, 6l behind As I Am (11-10) at Bangor 2m 4f mrs nov hdl (4) gd.