Twigline is a rare runner at Sandown for Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins as she lines up in Friday's Jane Seymour Mares' Novices' Hurdle.
Despite being sidelined for well over two years, the six-year-old French recruit made a most impressive Irish debut at Fairyhouse in November and now tests the water at Listed level for the first time.
Twigline, who like leading mare Quevega and Thousand Stars is owned by the Hammer and Trowel Syndicate, will be partnered by Ruby Walsh. The leading contender for the home team is undoubtedly the Nicky Henderson-trained Utopie Des Bordes.
A Grade One winner over fences in France, the five-year-old made a fine start for new connections at Doncaster a little over a week ago and is likely to be suited by the step up to two and a half miles at Sandown.
Donald McCain's She Ranks Me is forced to concede weight all round, having already won Listed prizes at Newbury and Haydock. Dual Newton Abbot scorer My Legal Lady takes a significant step up in class and trainer Stuart Howe is just hoping for the best.
He said: "I don't think any of them will like the ground - I'd imagine it's going to be desperate - but they've all go to cope with it. There aren't that many opportunities for our mare and we're throwing her in at the deep end a bit.
"The Mullins horse will probably be a serious horse and then there's the Henderson horse as well. If we can run into the frame I'd be delighted."
The six-runner field is completed by Cracking Lass, who was fifth to Utopie Des Bordes at Doncaster, and Toubeera.
The meeting at the Esher circuit goes ahead as planned after passing a Thursday morning course inspection. A provisional all-chase card had been formulated, but this will no longer be necessary as the hurdles track was found to be fit for racing after just three millimetres of overnight rain.
Andrew Cooper, Sandown head of racing and clerk of the course, said: "We measured around 3.5mm of overnight rain, which was right at the bottom end of what we were expecting. It looks as though the weather has now cleared, and there does not look like being much more rain."
6 March 2014Benbulben misses Cheltenham
Card 'gut wrencher' for Tizzard
Guard stands tall for new record
Faugheen looms over Neptune field
Ballycasey stands firm in RSA
Sire spearheads Queen Mother list
Australia still in Derby shake-up
Henderson perfectly happy with Tent
McNamara in 'excellent spirits'
Regal leads the way in Imperial
Codd snapped up for Sea
Farm National bid in the balance
Byron all set for Aussie challenge
Ayr takes precautions
Bridgwater salutes unsung hero
Murtagh watches on at Lingfield
Mullins retains Fly supporting cast
Bittar welcomes bill amendments
Fenton cleared for Festival runners
Trip concerns sway McCoy to Fishers
Regal vies for Imperial rule
Mullins quintet in Supreme mix
Arkle has Champagne sparkle
Rizeena given dual Guineas options
5 March 2014Bailey praying for rain
Cee Bee supplemented for Champion
Sherwood leaning towards Bartlett
Module to take Queen Mother test
Cee Bee supplemented for Champion
Farr closes in on Winter repeat
Cirrus satisfies Barande-Barbe
Oscar teed up for Bumper raid
Tent 'sound' after injury scare
Sparrow in full flight
Seven shooting straight for Aintree
BHA soothes Mullins security fears
Moore frets over Sea Winter run
Hopes high for Alderwood return
Bolger to make late Gilgamboa call
Nay Never could be a Jersey boy
Guard gallops into record books
Cirrus fourth on Chantilly return
Security on Mullins' mind
Crecy takes Treve pacemaking role
More Of That ride up for grabs
Parade set to swerve Cheltenham
Upbeat Henderson monitoring Tent
Tea team not expecting miracles
4 March 2014Lad aiming to lift Wulfruna prize
Weld waits on Vigil call
Sherwood facing Dan deliberation
Coup was "satisfying", says Curley
Walsh: Annie can go the distance
Hughes at ease with Colonel
Wincanton switch for Artillery
Milan set for hurdles outing
Avenue back on road to Sandown
Fontwell abandons Wednesday card
Saviour likely to miss season
No World bid for Monksland
Braithwaite seeking Dream success
3 March 2014Guard bids for record success
Conor Cheltenham-bound on Thursday
Mullins eyes World rule with Annie
Benefficient set for Ryanair
Mossey to wait for Aintree
Stricken Edgar to have leg op
Plans on hold for Godsmejudge
Module team wait on Festival call
Maguire sees Red in Bumper
Triolo given Gold go-ahead
Babe team eager for Festival run