Little Firecracker and Pipers Legend are bound to be popular with backers ahead of this opening selling handicap given their consistent level of form but it may be worth taking a chance with PEARLY STAR. The eight-year-old makes his debut for Jim Best today having made his first start for Seamus Mullins on his recent reappearance at Plumpton and he has solid claims in a competitive event. Jeff Pearce's Space Pirate has given little sign for encouragement in his three runs this term, while Kingscourt Lad has slipped to a decent mark but is hard to back with any confidence on recent form. Ruling Reef ran better at Hereford last time and has to be considered but more solid claims are held by Little Firecracker. Neil King's gelding has found one too good in each of her last four starts so she would not be winning out of turn and she should be involved at the finish again. Sarah Humphrey's Pipers Legend has been running just as consistently well and has every chance but marginal preference is for Pearly Star.
Space Pirate 9-1 (10-12) Mid-division, hit 2nd, in rear 4th, no chance when mistake 2 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Roisin's Prince (10-12) at Towcester 2m sell hdl (5) gs, 13 ran.
Bru Na Si (IRE) 11-2 (11-12) Held up, ridden approaching 2 out, soon weakened, 8th of 9, well behind The Snail (11-4) at Wincanton 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gf in Oct.
Kingscourt Lad (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Led, ridden and headed 3 out, weakened soon after, tailed off, 12th of 13, 50l behind Simple Jim (11-12) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gf.
Tewkesbury (IRE) 15-2 (10-13) Mid-division, outpaced 3 out, never dangerous, 7th of 12, 31l behind Can't Remember (10-0) at Sedgefield 2m 1f nov sell hdl (5) gf in Apr.
Little Firecracker 11-4 (10-2) Led, not fluent 3rd, headed narrowly after 2 out, edged left and regained lead flat, headed post, 2nd of 7, ns behind Bureaucrat (10-4) at Hereford 2m 4f sell (5) gd.
Pearly Star 12-1 (11-11) Tracked leaders, led 5th, headed 2 out, mistake last, soon weakened, 5th of 11, 10l behind Alldunnandusted (10-13) at Plumpton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gd.
Pipers Legend 10-3 (11-7) Chased leaders, led going well approaching 3 out, blundered 3 out, headed next, weakened last, 3rd of 7, 8l behind Winning Show (10-8) at Lingfield 2m 4f hcp 0-90 (5) gs.
Ruling Reef 25-1 (10-5) Prominent, not fluent 5th, lost place 7th, weakened after 3 out, mistake 2 out, hanging badly right approaching last, 4th of 7, 13l behind Bureaucrat (10-4) at Hereford 2m 4f sell (5) gd.
Vicentio 25-1 (10-6) Mid-division, headway 4 out, soon driven, weakened next, 7th of 11, 20l behind Amazing Valour (11-6) at Huntingdon 3m 2f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gf in Oct.
Finnegans Rainbow 125-1 (10-5) Towards rear, never dangerous, 7th of 12, well behind Tabaran (10-12) at Stratford 2m sll hdl (4) gf in Oct.