Lucymai can confirm a timely return to form at Wolverhampton on Friday, according to David Clough.
Nap: Lucymai (3.10 Wolverhampton)
Next Best: Merryweather (4.40 Southwell)
Lucymai can confirm a timely return to form in the Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Fillies' Conditions Stakes at Wolverhampton.
Dean Ivory's seven-year-old has endured a mildly regressive profile in just five runs over the past year - until sowing the seeds of a possible revival at Lingfield, with an eye-shield fitted for the first time.
Any consolidation after that late surge will put her right in the mix for Friday's All-Weather Championships fast-track qualifier - a race in which she finished fourth 12 months ago.
Lucymai is officially more than a stone below her peak of around 18 months ago, but may well be able to revisit a comparative high with her new aid in place.
She appeared to finish with renewed enthusiasm just before Christmas, although unable to catch re-opposing old rival Rock On Baileys on these same level-weight terms.
There is historical scope for her to achieve more, however, and get the better of this select field.
Useful hurdler Nelson River will probably be a decent price in the Betway Handicap, but has already proved he can be effective here. His surprise course victory in September 2018 came over two furlongs shorter and from an 8lb lower mark.
Nelson River's exploits over jumps indicate he may be able to win again on the Flat, however, and there was no disgrace in his two most recent performances over jumps against high-class opposition on unsuitably heavy ground.
Under the lights at Southwell, Merryweather can land a knockout blow in the opening Ladbrokes Where The Nation Plays Handicap.
Mick Appleby's filly struck on stable debut, at just her third career attempt - outrunning her odds for a hard-fought, all-the-way win at Lingfield last month. That form remains largely untested, and she must concede weight all round this time.
But there were some plausible rivals on paper last time, and the same cannot really be said for those in opposition on Merryweather's handicap debut at a track where her prominent running style should be an asset from stall one.
Elzaam's Dream is another filly trying the Fibresand for the first time, in the Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Handicap.
She could do with breaking a little quicker than she has of late, but her two recent near misses at Wolverhampton indicate her capabilities off her current rating.
Over jumps at Musselburgh, Roycano may be able to defy a big weight in the Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap Hurdle.
Mick Easterby's formerly prolific northern point-to-pointer remains lightly-raced under rules at the age of 10.
But he has fared with promise from his few opportunities, not least when staying on from well off the pace over two and a half miles at Sedgefield last time.
This easy three miles looks right up his street, and his overall profile suggests the slightly sounder surface should be spot on too.
In the first division of the Betway Handicap Hurdle, a former Easterby inmate is of interest.
Tabou Beach Boy became consistent, if winless, in a low grade on the Flat while at Sheriff Hutton, and has since been housed with Oliver Greenall before moving on again to the care of Rebecca Menzies.
His first and only attempt for her to date was only passable, at Sedgefield in November.
But Musselburgh's livelier ground is sure to suit, and Menzies has long proved adept at eking out improvement from similar types.
Tabou Beach Boy has been dropped a further 2lb and a maiden career success could be in the offing.
Irish Roe is an altogether classier operator, of course, and she makes her debut over fences in the Betway Beginners' Chase.
Graded class over hurdles, she has this field well covered on ratings and has been found an ideal opportunity to test her chasing potential in favoured conditions.
The ground will be very different at Hereford, but the Download The MansionBet App Novices' Chase should not prove heavy going for Locker Room Talk.
Nigel Twiston-Davies' seven-year-old was a runaway Taunton winner last month - a performance which demonstrated his versatility as he dealt impressively with a soft surface for the first time.
He has a chasing experience edge on most of his rivals here too.
In the closing Cotswold Hereford BMW Mares' Novices' Hurdle, ex-Irish pointer Getaway Totherock should be tough to beat after showing her hand under rules with an unexpected but impressive win at Ludlow last time.
Sporting Life tips
DUNDALK: 5.00 Lapilli, 5.30 Sayesse, 6.00 Sheisdiesel, 6.30 Miracles In May, 7.00 Eacharn, 7.30 Intervention, 8.00 Rock On Aidan, 8.30 Magi Gal.
HEREFORD: 12.40 Little Rich, 1.10 Miss Antipova, 1.40 Lord Howard, 2.15 Late Shipment, 2.45 Locker Room Talk, 3.20 Misty Mai, 3.55 Getaway Totherock.
MUSSELBURGH: 12.20 Toby Maguire, 12.50 Eagle Ridge, 1.20 Tabou Beach Boy, 1.55 Wise Coco, 2.25 Roycano, 3.00 Irish Roe, 3.35 Not At Present.
SOUTHWELL: 4.40 Merryweather, 5.15 The Weed Machine, 5.45 Shine Baby Shine, 6.15 Katheefa, 6.45 Queen Of Rock, 7.15 Elzaam's Dream, 7.45 Irish Minister.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 12.30 Jungle Capers, 1.00 Griggy, 1.30 One One Seven, 2.05 Nelson River, 2.35 Jomrok, 3.10 LUCYMAI (NAP), 3.45 Historical, 4.20 Mount Wellington.
DOUBLE: Lucymai and Merryweather.