Swincombe Flame beat one of today's rivals, Queen's Bay, in one of the three races she won over hurdles last season. Nick Williams' mare has been quite highly tried in her runs to date over the larger obstacles and will appreciate this drop in grade. But we're going to take her on with VIOLIN DAVIS, probably Swincombe Flame's equal over timber and sure to strip fitter for her reappearance at Wincanton when she was trying to concede weight all round. Southway Star may not have as much scope as some of her rivals while Jacalou has been off the track for a year and Smiling Lady and Wishes And Stars may do better when qualified for handicaps.
Jacalou 10-1 (10-12) Held up, went 2nd 4th until 4 out, one pace from 3 out, 3rd of 6, 9l behind Alasi (11-4) at Ludlow 2m 4f mrs nov chs (5yo+) (4) gs in Jan.
Queens Bay 4-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders, ridden 3 out, plugged on and went 3rd run in, 3rd of 8, 16l behind Queens Grove (10-9) at Taunton 2m 1f Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-120) (3yo+) (4) sft in Nov.
Smiling Lady (IRE) 10-1 (11-1) Close up, ridden to chase winner 3 out until next, weakened last, 4th of 8, 18l behind Queens Grove (10-9) at Taunton 2m 1f Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-120) (3yo+) (4) sft in Nov.
Southway Star 25-1 (10-10) Mid-division, hard ridden after 3 out, soon no impression, 6th of 10, 17l behind Kentford Grey Lady (11-12) at Sandown 2m 4f Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-135) (4yo+) (3) sft.
Swincombe Flame 25-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders, jumped slowly at times, lost place 2nd, well beaten 4 out, mistakes 3 out and 2 out, 5th of 6, 37l behind Dynaste (11-8) at Newbury 2m 4f nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov.
Violin Davis (FR) 6-1 (11-9) In touch in mid-division, ridden after 3 out, weakened before next, 7th of 10, 31l behind Miss Milborne (11-6) at Wincanton 2m 6f mrs hcp hdl (2) gs in Nov.
Wishes And Stars (IRE) 4-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, steady headway 6th, went 3rd from 3 out, one pace and no chance with leading pair from next, 3rd of 9, 8l behind Ballinahow Star (10-12) at Wincanton 2m 6f mdn hdl (4) sft.