SAM SPINNER can announce himself on the big stage by winning the JLT Reve De Sivola Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot.

Jedd O'Keeffe's five-year-old has never been out of the first two in his life and his last two runs have been huge career bests.

Whether he has it in him to improve even more, which he will need to do to beat some solid if not spectacular performers, is the big question – but he is priced accordingly.

This time last year he failed to concede a penalty in a Kelso novice hurdle but the winner was Mount Mews, subsequently second in a Grade One to Pingshou at the Grand National meeting, giving the form some gravitas.

His most recent performance at Haydock marked him out as potentially top class as, although he was only racing off a mark of 139, he was trying the best part of three miles for the first time and was strongest at the finish.

His improvement cannot be put down to the heavy ground, as pre-race O'Keeffe felt that would be against him, so it was the step up in trip which allowed him to get into a rhythm.

In a division with no real star at the moment, he could be the new kid on the block, with Joe Colliver having today's ride.

Nicky Henderson's VERDANA BLUE can defy an 8lb rise as today's nap selection under Nico de Boinville in the closing Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle.

Henderson has a fine record in the race and his Brain Power put up a fine weight-carrying performance 12 months ago.

Verdana Blue might not be in his class but she has improved markedly this season in two runs over this course and distance.

First time out, she travelled smoothly before being squeezed at the last and allowed to come home without being given a hard race, and today she meets the winner, Elgin, on 3lb better terms.

That race has worked out incredibly well, with the mare doing her bit for the form when beating the in-form Speredek by an easy three lengths, despite nearly coming down early on. There is more to come from her.

Eddie Harty will hope his CONEY ISLAND is a potential Gold Cup contender later in the season, so he has to be winning the three-runner Sodexo Graduation Chase to fulfil those dreams.

Winner of the Drinmore Novice Chase last December, his only other run before injury saw him go down narrowly to Irish National winner Our Duke.

Robert Walford is in the middle of the best spell of his career, meaning WALK IN THE MILL becomes of interest in the Lavazza Silver Cup Handicap Chase.

A winner over this course and distance last time out, he has gone up 8lb but looks to be still on the upgrade.

It was pleasing to see Nick Alexander's LAKE VIEW LAD get his career back on track at Newcastle and the Betfred Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock was immediately mentioned as his next target.

While he proved he stays three miles in the north-east, this two-mile-six trip will suit him better as he can be ridden even more aggressively.

Sue Smith's SILVA ECLIPSE can maintain the fine start to his new career in the opening bet365 Novices' Hurdle at Newcastle.

There is Listed action on the all-weather at Lingfield, where John Gosden's UTMOST can make up for lost time in the Betway Quebec Stakes.

Winner of his only start at two, he ran well in a valuable event at Newcastle early in the year but was then not seen until November. He was not disgraced in a Listed race in France last time out.