It's probably worth taking Hebridean on and Ainama is one of the likelier candidates but it may be worth siding with PALE RIDER or Morning Heights. Hebridean is a high class recruit to hurdling but didn't impress everyone with his effort at Newbury where he weakened tamely out of contention. In fairness to him the first two home were Zaynar and Walkon who, it's fair to say, have done their bit for the form but we may not see the best of him until he gets better ground. Ainama hails from a yard that has a decent line on novice hurdlers this season so any support for the Desert Prince gelding would look significant. He looked very good on his day for Michael Wigham and cosily won a handicap from eighty two when last seen but all of his form was on top of the ground and he could flounder in the mud. Morning Heights has shaped quite well in two runs over hurdles at double figure prices and could make the frame but we'll take a chance with Pale Rider. Nick Gifford houses some nice young horses this season so he'll have an idea of where he stands with this ex-French performer for whom the ground will hold no fears and that is a big tick in the right column for Pale Rider.
Ainama (IRE) 2-1fav (10-0) Steadied start, held up, smooth headway over 2f out, led on bit over 1f out, very easily, won at Chester 2m hcp 0-85 (4) gf in Aug beating Dr Sharp (9-7) by 1l, 8 ran (Flat).
Buffalo Stampede (IRE) 50-1 (10-5) Prominent, ridden 2 out and weakened, 5th of 15, 21l behind Quazy de Joie (10-7) at Towcester 2m nh nov hdl (3) gs in Dec.
Come On Jonny (IRE) 50-1 (10-11) Always behind, 14th of 21, well behind Cracboumwiz (11-0) at Newbury 2m mdn hdl (4) sft in Dec.
He's The Business 50-1 (11-2) Mid-division, ridden and struggling 7f out, tailed off final 4f, 12th of 14, well behind Sherwani Wolf (10-13) at Plumpton 2m 2f nhf (6) sft in Dec.
Intensifier (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) In touch, ridden approaching 2 out, soon weakened, 7th of 14, 32l behind Michel Le Bon (10-12) at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Morning Heights (IRE) 20-1 (10-9) Mid-division, ridden approaching 3 out, soon one pace, 6th of 11, 13l behind Our Bomber Harris (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Nearby 50-1 (11-0) Mid-division, hampered 5th, headway after, weakened approaching 2 out, 10th of 21, 43l behind Cracboumwiz (11-0) at Newbury 2m mdn hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Northern Lad (IRE) 100-1 (10-9) Led and soon clear, edged left after 5th, headed 7th, weakened next, 9th of 14, 49l behind Great Endeavour (11-8) at Towcester 2m 5f nh nov hdl (3) sft in Nov.
Oddshoes (IRE) 50-1 (11-5) Mid-division best, weakened from 4 out, 17th of 18, well behind Cosmo King (11-12) at Thurles 2m hdl sft in Jan '08.
Pale Rider (FR) (11-0) Close up until one pace from over 2f out, 7th of 14, 7l behind Betcherev (10-10) at Deauville 1m 4f stk std in Dec (Flat).
Spanish Conquest 66-1 (11-0) Mid-division, ridden and weakened after 3 out, 11th of 13, 38l behind Eradicate (11-5) at Taunton 2m 1f nov hdl (4) gs.
Dancing Valentine 66-1 (8-11) Slowly away, outpaced, last of 11, 28l behind Laurentina (9-0) at Kempton 6f 2yo mdn fll (4) pol in Sept '06 (Flat).
Haveyoubeen (IRE) 100-1 (10-7) Jinked right and unseated rider in race won by Parlesotho (11-5) at Hereford 2m 4f mrs nov hdl (4) sft, 16 ran.
Hebridean (IRE) 7-4 (10-12) Held up in rear, headway approaching 3 out, close 3rd 2 out, soon ridden, weakened approaching last, 4th of 13, 21l behind Zaynar (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3yo nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Pinnacle Point 50-1 (10-12) Took keen hold, held up, hit 3 out, weakened from next, 9th of 13, 24l behind Ronaldo Des Mottes (10-12) at Folkestone 2m 1f 4yo mdn hdl (4) gs.
Where's Susie 20-1 (9-0) Towards rear, some late headway from over 1f out, never nearer, 8th of 14, 8l behind Sainglend (9-4) at Windsor 1m 2f 3yo hcp (6) gf in Oct (Flat).