12:25 Southwell

CHEROKEE DANCE (best price 4-1), in hindsight, faced quite a stiff task in trying to contain Onesmoothoperator over today’s course last time out, but at least she gained the sort of valuable course knowledge in order for her to be a potent threat back among her own sex on her return visit.

A bit of a sitting duck when picked off late on by two of today’s rivals, Lower Street and La Hulotte, at Kempton back in November, the daughter of Honor Code has improved in the interim – certainly based on her time figures - and her victory at Wolverhampton next time only served to back up that view. Undone by another modest gallop when returning to the Sunbury venue next time, she was much more effective with a sounder pace here last time and with the likelihood of a decent tempo unfolding thanks to the presence of Engrave, the four-year-old should be right in the thick of the action when the medals are being handed out.

Cherokee Dance - 1pt @ 4/1

14:20 Punchestown

A Grade 1 in all but name given the participants, and there’s little doubt Bob Olinger is the big headline act. The best novice hurdler in the 2m4f division last season, chasing, however, was always destined to be his game and following a bright start to his new career at Gowran, it’s easy to see why he’s such a hot property for further Cheltenham glory in March. As they say, though, you should never worry about one horse, and connections of CAPODANNO (best price 5-1) have their own reasons to feel upbeat about his chasing career given the manner of his victory at the first attempt at Navan.

A quality novice hurdler himself last season – admittedly, not quite in the class of Bob Olinger – Willie Mullins’ inmate has already leapfrogged from a 132-rated horse to one languishing near the 150-mark after a quite extraordinary debut at the Co Meath venue. In with every chance as the field approached the second last 31 days ago, the son of Manduro was just about to hit the front when he over-jumped and slithered on landing and at that point, it looked like his goose was cooked. Amazingly, though, he rallied to such effect that by halfway up the run-in he’d snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and in end, he actually scored with quite a bit hand. Beating his better fancied stable mate Gaiilard Du Mesnil in the process, the six-year-old chestnut is strongly fancied to confirm his superiority with that rival at the very least - especially when you consider what happened to him late on – and if you factor in the strong possibility he will be better suited to today’s slightly stiffer test over a track he’s won at before, he makes for a perfectly plausible and solid each-way alternative to the favourite.

Capodanno - 1pt e/w @ 5/1

15:30 Southwell

KIRITIMATI ISLAND (NAP) (best price 2-1) rattled home to finish a never-nearer second from a seemingly impossible position over five-furlongs here last time out and with a return to a trip more in-keeping with his previous profile seen as a huge plus, Ivan Furtado’s gelding can make a breakthrough at the fifth attempt.

Promising in three useful maidens where he had little or no chance of winning, the son of Lethal force was rather surprisingly dropped to the minimum trip on his first attempt in handicap company 18 days ago, and given how much ground he made up in the closing stages after being over ten lengths behind at halfway, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that his days over five-furlongs are limited to say the least. A tall, rangy three-year-old with loads of scope, he should be seen to full effect on a surface that clearly suits, so barring accidents, he looks to have every chance of landing a race of this nature.

Kiritimati Island - 1pt @ 2/1