ACDC (Chris Grant)
Marked down as one for the stamina test handicap in the North, but threw a curve ball when winning over 2m 3f at Wetherby recently. That said the trainer is aiming at the Scottish National long term.
BETTER GETALONG (Nicky Richards)
Progressive last season but found Grade 1 company too tough at Aintree. Rated 138 and could make a mark in decent handicap hurdles or in novice chases.
BIG BAD DREAM (Donald Whillans)
Starts off in hurdles this season after showing promise in bumpers without winning. Long term he will make a staying chaser but can make a mark in hurdles when stamina is at a premium.
BLACK PIRATE (James Ewart)
Comfortably won a couple of bumpers before running a very creditable second in a decent event at Ayr in April. Very interesting novice hurdle prospect for the Langholm yard
CLOUDY DREAM (Donald McCain)
There or thereabouts in decent company last season if just falling short at Grade 1 and 2 level. If his trainer is canny as a non-winner last season there will be events available where weight conditions are favourable.
CRIXUS’S ESCAPE (Gillian Boanas)
The trainer has taken over the Reveley yard and has a very interesting prospect. Winner of a maiden then a novice event at Hexham this one starts on a workable mark in handicaps.
CUCKOO’S CALLING (Keith Dalgleish)
Won a couple of bumpers last autumn. Fell a bit short of the mark on the Flat subsequently, but there are soft opportunities in the mares/fillies’ only division in the north and she can win races over hurdles.
DALI MAIL (Donald Whillans)
Doddle up in a Kelso bumper in February having run a creditable third to a nice sort on previous outing. Raced keenly and well held when upped to Grade 2 at Aintree, but has shown enough to suggest novice hurdles are well within his compass.
DONNA’S DELIGHT (Sandy Thomson)
Winning novice hurdler last season and thereabouts on each run. Could go be a handicap hurdler this season with chasing the long term goal for this brother to a fair staying chaser Knockanrawley.
HIGHLAND HUNTER (Lucinda Russell)
Winner of a Kelso bumper and then not totally disgraced when a bit keen in Grade 2 company at Aintree. Looks a ready made hurdles winner.
IDEE DE GARDE (Nicky Richards)
Won nicely in a bumper at Ayr in January. A nice individual who should pay his way in novice hurdle company.
NORTHERN SOUL (Ruth Jefferson)
Not hurried last season as Ruth took over on the passing of her father. The type to make a mark in novice hurdles in the coming months. Had the better of a prolonged scrap with Legal Eyes at Market Rasen, and that sort of competition is no harm in a young horse’s education.
NUTS WELL (Ann Hamilton)
A decent performer who has rather gone under the radar. Impressed when forging clear on the run-in from some decent opponents at Kelso on return recently. That was on quick ground but he goes just as well in heavy and will be competitive in minimum distance handicap chases.
OFF THE HOOK (Nick Alexander)
Ran second three times over hurdles and remains a maiden. Has ability and should land a race or two in maiden/novice hurdle company. Has raced at minimum trip to date, handling heavy going well enough.
SAINT LEO (Sandy Thomson)
Lightly raced Ray Anderson Green purchase from France. Won last season over fences so not a novice and hence may need careful placing, but this youngster is likely to prove a decent acquisition.
SLANELOUGH (Rose Dobbin)
A decent performer over hurdles for the last two seasons and showed promise on chasing debut at Carlisle when fourth behind useful animals. Should have no trouble landing a novice chase in the coming months.
TESTIFY (Donald McCain)
Impressive in winning small field chases before disappointing in bigger fields. Worth a chance this season as he is on a workable handicap mark.
TRESHNISH (Sue Smith)
Quickly stepped up to chasing after progressing throughout last season. Was last of five on chasing debut at Carlisle but that was a tough race, stable runners have tended to need the run this season and still showed sufficient promise to suggest chase wins are not far away.
TAXMEIFYOUCAN (Keith Dalgleish)
Useful dual purpose animal, winner of a Class 2 handicap on the flat in 2017 and not disgraced over hurdles in Class 2 company. His trainer is a decent placer of his horses and can win a handicap or two with a lightly raced hurdler.
UPTOWN FUNK (Keith Dalgleish)
Good ground performer and lightly raced over hurdles. Recorded his hurdles win at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day and one to keep an eye out for at the free draining East Lothian circuit over the winter.