Most of the interest in this novices' contest will revolve around Prince Buster, Bangkok Pete and RACKHAM LEROUGE, and we will take a chance on the latter on his hurdling debut. The selection is a French import racing for the in-form Nicky Henderson. He won three successive bumpers in the provinces without being extended and steps up to this trip for the first time. Potentially very smart, he does have to prove himself on the ground, having not yet raced on slower than good, but we will take the chance that he does so. Proven with cut is Prince Buster, who was runner-up to the decent Bellvano at Newbury's Hennessy meeting. That hurdling experience may prove invaluable and he will take a bit of beating. Keith Reveley's Eyre Square was placed in his last two starts in bumpers and again on his hurdling debut at Newcastle in November and he has to be respected at a track where the yard has a good record, while Secret Stash has his hurdling introduction but has place claims based on his bumper form. Brendan Powell's Bangkok Pete put up a good performance when successful at Fontwell last month and has to be respected but this is tougher under a penalty and preference is for Rackham Lerouge, who could be anything.
Bangkok Pete (IRE) 9-2 (10-12) Tracked leader, led 2 out, driven clear, ran on well, won at Fontwell 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec beating Love of Tara (11-5) by 6l, 13 ran.
Bobble Hat Bob (FR) 12-1 (10-7) Mid-division, headway to chase leaders 4 out, weakened next, 6th of 16, 47l behind The Treacle Eater (11-0) at Hereford 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gd in Apr.
Calusa Spirit 100-1 (11-3) Mid-division, ridden 6th, behind next and pulled up soon after, in a race won by Krackatara (11-3) at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gs in Feb '08, 14 ran.
Extreme Conviction (IRE) 14-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, never near leaders, 8th of 12, 26l behind Will Be Done (10-9) at Leicester 2m 4f nh nov hdl (3) sft in Dec.
Eyre Square (IRE) 28-1 (11-0) In touch, lost place after 4 out, rallied between last 2, kept on no impression, 3rd of 16, 11l behind Quantitativeeasing (11-0) at Newcastle 2m NH Maiden Hurdle (4-6yo) (5) gs in Nov.
Firedog (IRE) 40-1 (11-5) Led to 4th, weakened 3 out, 7th of 11, 38l behind Notus De La Tour (10-11) at Plumpton 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft.
Prince Buster (FR) 33-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, headway approaching 3 out, went 2nd last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 13, 10l behind Bellvano (11-0) at Newbury 2m NH mdn hdl (3) gs in Nov.
Qaspal (FR) 20-1 (10-9) Held up, took keen hold, never near leaders, 6th of 15, 24l behind Dr Livingstone (10-12) at Leicester 2m nh nov hdl (3) gf in Dec.
Quipe Me Posted (FR) 33-1 (10-12) Behind, under pressure before 3 out, soon beaten, 7th of 8, 48l behind Candy Creek (10-5) at Kempton 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gs in Nov.
Rackham Lerouge (FR) (10-1) won at Morlaix(FR) 1m 4f 4yo NH flat gd in Jun beating Thisbe Des Sorinieres (9-13) by 2 1/2l, 14 ran.
Rigadin de Beauchene (FR) 22-1 (10-12) Chased leaders until weakened well before 2 out, 7th of 14, 14l behind Tito Bustillo (11-8) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (3) sft in Dec.
Rollwiththepunches 20-1 (10-11) With leader, led before halfway, ridden and headed entering final furlong, no extra, 3rd of 17, 1 1/2l behind Thunderstorm (11-1) at Huntingdon 2m NH flat (6) gs in Dec.
Secret Stash (IRE) 2-1fav (11-1) Tracked leaders, short of room on inside bend 4f out, weakened over 2f out, 4th of 10, 14l behind Aberdale (11-2) at Uttoxeter 2m NH flat (4) gs in Mar.
The Brimmer (IRE) 250-1 (10-5) In rear, mistake 2nd, kept on from 2 out, never nearer, 8th of 14, 26l behind Tito Bustillo (11-4) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (3) sft in Dec.
Very Stylish (IRE) 50-1 (10-7) Held up, pushed along approaching 6th, weakened 3 out, 5th of 10, 32l behind Peddlers Cross (10-12) at Bangor 2m 1f nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Irish Symphony (IRE) 80-1 (10-5) In touch, weakened 3 out, 6th of 11, 38l behind Zazamix (10-12) at Bangor 2m 1f nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.