SECRET INVESTOR (Kempton, 12.55) has been a tricky horse to train by all accounts hence we haven’t seen the selection since his promising display over course and distance in November.
A jolting blunder at the second last hurdle denied the son of Kayf Tara the chance to overhaul the Ben Pauling-trained Way Back Then late on, but to his credit he closed all the way to the line to be narrowly beaten.
The time of that event was sufficiently good to suggest today’s race would be an ideal stepping stone for Secret Investor who looks one of his yard’s nicer novice hurdlers this term.
A brutal test of stamina is just the order of the day for KRACKATOA KING (Warwick, 3.35) who doesn’t do anything quickly but does at least have a course victory on his cv.
The selection is a dour galloper who handles deep ground so should be ideally suited by the rigours of this race and his yard, which have won this race previously, went close in the Welsh National with a similar type last weekend.
Richard Patrick is definitely a conditional rider to keep on side and this looks to have been the plan since the start of the season for the Herefordshire raider.
DUEL AT DAWN (Warwick, 1.50) looks a possible for a race like the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham festival further down the line, but he needs to win a tricky race like this first. The selection was a creditable runner-up to Sizing Tennessee last time and should have a good pace to run at late on with the likes of the front-running Flintham in opposition again.
SNOWY WINTER (Southwell, nap, 2.55) has made rapid strides since winning a Class 6 all-weather handicap by seven lengths last September. The latest romp was over course and distance 24 days ago when a competitive Class 4 field was left toiling after the filly surged clear over a furlong out.
Snowy Winter’s mark has risen a hefty 31lb since September but is progressing so well that it would be no surprise to see her impress again on Sunday, even though she's moving up through the grades.
SPUN GOLD (Southwell, nb, 3.25) is another recent track winner who also posted a strong speed figure despite a ragged start and then hanging right up the home straight. Clearly a quirky horse, the first time tongue-tie/blinker combo helped plenty in recording a first victory and there could be plenty more to come.
Read Sam Turner's tips every day in the Daily Mail or at www.dailymail.co.uk/racing