Conor Dore's Kipchak has been running well in handicaps on the Polytrack and the Fibresand in recent starts and has to be respected dropped into a claimer for his return to turf but he is probably better on the artificial surfaces and a better bet may be ISLAND CHIEF, who gets the vote with Kingswinford rated the best of the rest. The selection was narrowly beaten by Royal Dignitary in a Southwell seller last month but is much better suited by these underfoot conditions on turf and he can reverse that form and resume winning ways. Ollie Pears has a good record with his runners in this grade so Sir George has to be respected and makes more appeal than Mick Easterby's Soto, who needs to improve on all known form to trouble the judge. Royal Dignitary comes here on the back of a win in that seller at Southwell when beating the selection, having struggled in races at Cagnes Sur Mer previously in the winter, and the David Nicholls-trained gelding should relish the return to turf but the ground may be softer than ideal. David Evans has done really well with his team over the last year and his representative, Kingswinford, has to be respected on ground that suits but Kevin Ryan's Island Chief really appreciates plenty of cut and he looks the one to beat.
Kingswinford (IRE) 6-1 (8-4) Raced wide in touch, ridden 2f out, soon weakened, 5th of 7, 6l behind Spitfire (9-4) at Folkestone 6f hcp 0-85 (4) hvy.
Kipchak (IRE) 13-2 (9-4) Tracked leader until over 1f out, ridden and weakened final furlong, 7th of 10, 5l behind Quasi Congaree (8-8) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Mar.
Island Chief 5-1 (9-10) Keen led 1f, in touch, ridden to go 3rd over 1f out, kept on one pace, 3rd of 9, 5l behind Fremen (10-0) at Musselburgh 1m 1f sell stks (6) gs.
Royal Dignitary (USA) 15-8fav (9-8) Led, headed over 4f out, led again over 2f out, ridden clear over 1f out, kept on, won at Southwell 7f sell stks (6) fbs in Mar beating Island Chief (9-8) by 1l, 7 ran.
Soto 9-1 (7-13) Mid-division, weakened well over 1f out, 12th of 14, 7l behind Mujaadel (9-5) at Catterick 7f hcp 0-75 (5) gd in Oct.
Nuit Sombre (IRE) 40-1 (9-1) Led, ridden, headed over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 11th of 13, 21l behind Lunar Limelight (9-2) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp (6) pol in Dec.
Sir George (IRE) 7-2 (8-6) Tracked leaders, went 2nd travelling strongly over 2f out, shaken up to lead just inside final furlong, soon ridden, found little and headed near finish, 2nd of 10, hd behind Rub Of The Relic (7-13) at Southwell 1m Claiming Stakes (0-65) (4yo+) (6) fbs in Mar.
Kings Ace (IRE) 33-1 (9-1) In touch, switched right and ridden 2f out, kept on one pace, 4th of 7, 6l behind Royal Dignitary (9-8) at Southwell 7f sell stks (6) fbs in Mar.
Lytton 12-1 (9-7) Mid-division, lost place over 3f out, soon behind, 12th of 13, 20l behind La Gifted (9-1) at Catterick 7f hcp 0-60 (6) gf in Sep.
Its Beyond Me 100-1 (8-11) Always behind, tailed off over 2f out, last of 9, 44l behind Rowan Lodge (9-5) at Carlisle 1m clm stks (6) gf in Jun.
Whispering Spirit (IRE) 6-1 (8-0) Prominent, raced alone far side, held on gamely final furlong, won at Catterick 7f 3yo clm (6) sft in Sep beating Ask Dan (8-11) by nk, 12 ran.
Highly Acclaimed 6-1 (8-5) Fly jumped start, in rear, ridden 2f out, stayed on final furlong, nearest finish, 4th of 8, 2 1/4l behind Scrapper Smith (9-4) at Ayr 5f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) sft in Aug.
Pacific Bay (IRE) 25-1 (9-2) Tracked leaders, effort over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, last of 9, 20l behind Chia (9-3) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Jan.