I’VE been following STRAIDNAHANNA since he made his debut at Wetherby in November and went toe-to-toe with the very useful Oscar Rock, left. His future lies over fences but he should be up to winning over the smaller obstacles, and he hit the crossbar when beaten a short head at Haydock in January. Today it could be his turn to put his head in front. Present Lodger and Count Danilo will be no pushovers but I would not be surprised if Ryan Mania jumps out in front and tries to make all.
Also, keep half an eye on SHALONE. He is nowhere near as good as he used to be but he was a 145-rated horse a few years ago when third to Zaynar in the Relkeel Hurdle. He came good at 25/1 at Uttoxeter last spring and the key to him is decent ground. Racing off 123, he might be worth a speculative each-way interest in Haydock’s 2.40.