HIGHLAND LODGE may have won twice over hurdles last season but Emma Lavelle's six-year-old looks every inch a chaser and has already won between the flags. He's held in high regard and can get his career over the larger obstacles off to a winning start here, where this stiff course should play to his strengths. Maringo Bay was unlucky not to score over fences last season and sets a decent standard while Same Difference finished ahead of the selection in a Grade 2 hurdle at Warwick in January and is another that should be worth following this term. The lightly-raced Garton King, Kasbadali and Red Rocco are also promising and add to the interest.
Garton King 9-4fav (11-6) In touch, went 2nd before 3 out, every chance 2 out, weakened before last, 4th of 12, 8l behind Dais Return (11-1) at Bangor 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Dec.
Highland Lodge (IRE) 5-6fav (11-4) Took keen hold, led, jumped right 4th, not fluent 8th, headed after 3 out, weakened before next, 4th of 8, 31l behind Cotton Mill (11-4) at Warwick 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) gs in Jan.
Kasbadali (FR) 1-2fav (11-0) With leader, led 2nd until 12th, ridden approaching 3 out, soon well beaten, 2nd of 4, 25l behind Aachen (10-11) at Towcester 2m 6f nov chs (4) gs in Jun.
Maringo Bay (IRE) 8-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders, hit 18th, weakened 5 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Master Overseer (10-3) at Uttoxeter 4m 1f lstd hcp chs (1) gs in Mar, 16 ran.
Red Rocco (IRE) 3-1 (11-3) Led, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, switched right before last, stayed on same pace, no impression on winner flat, 2nd of 13, 6l behind Benheir (11-6) at Bangor 3m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Apr.
Same Difference (IRE) 15-8 (10-12) Jumped right led, ridden 4 out, ran down fence 2 out, soon headed, kept on same pace, 2nd of 4, 21l behind Al Co (10-12) at Fakenham 3m nov chs (3) sft in May.