Rhys Williams has analysed Monday's racing and has a sole selection at Ludlow.
Shaped better than results suggest in points
Ludlow 14:30: Hard Lines 1pt win 13/2
Given the front two in the market for this four-runner maiden hurdle have questions to answer, it's surprising to see Hard Lines drifting given he showed enough ability in Irish points to be competitive in a race of this quality.
He showed some ability on debut when a non-stayer behind the likes of Grangeclare West, Sporting Ace and Clear The Runway. He didn't show much in three runs after that before switching yards and he came back to form on his first run for Michael Bates at Monksgrange where he travelled strongly for a long way before not quite seeing out the trip.
Hard Lines was narrowly beaten next time at Tinahely when poorly positioned in a slowly run race and he couldn't quite catch Kayf Baha on the short run-in.
He got off the mark on his final start in Ireland at Lingstown when looking more superior than the winning margin suggests. He made headway to join the leaders at 3 out and went to the front with ease approaching 2 out. Pushed along on landing, he quickly went a few lengths clear and looked in complete command but he started to empty and was closed on by Dancing Du Moulin to the line, holding on by 1½ lengths.
I think the ability he showed when third to Coastguard Station and when winning at Lingstown suggests that he can be competitive in a moderate maiden hurdle and the drop back in trip is likely to suit. He may also get a good trip tracking the front two in the market if they decide to take each other on for the lead.
It may turn out that Hard Lines is in need of the run on his first start for Evan Williams or it may be that he will only show his best in handicaps over fences further down the line but neither of the front pair are certain to run to their ratings and any 11/2 or bigger appeals.