The betting suggested Darakti would improve for the longer trip at Southwell last time and that proved to be the case as he won a seller with plenty in hand. But it remains to be seen if he can reproduce that form on his Polytrack debut and a chance is taken on BOOKTHEBAND instead. He gets first-time headgear after a recent fourth over track and trip and should have a fitness advantage over Amanda Perrett's duo Pivotal Silence and Knight's Parade. Richard Hughes' presence on the latter suggests he has the stronger claims, while the likes of Town Mouse and Early One Morning are others to consider.
Pivotal Silence 40-1 (9-0) Pressed leader until 2f out, soon driven along, lost 2nd over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 8th of 13, 6l behind Mrs Bannock (9-0) at Lingfield 7f 2yo mdn fll (5) pol in Nov.
Town Mouse 7-1 (8-12) Tracked leader, ridden over 2f out, weakened final furlong, 6th of 9, 5l behind Swing Easy (8-13) at Lingfield 1m 2yo mdn auc stks (6) pol in Nov.
Knight's Parade (IRE) 7-2 (8-1) Behind, caught wide on bend 5f out, headway approaching halfway, chased leaders over 3f out, disputing 2nd inside final furlong, one pace, 3rd of 8, 3 1/2l behind East Texas Red (8-10) at Windsor 1m 2yo hcp 0-75 (5) sft in Oct.
Early One Morning 50-1 (8-3) Held up towards rear, headway and switched right over 1f out, stayed on to 4th inside final furlong, never going pace of leading trio, 4th of 9, 6l behind Spillway (8-8) at Kempton 1m 2f mdn auc stks (5) pol in Mar.
Booktheband (IRE) 9-1 (9-7) Held up towards rear, ridden over 2f out, stayed on inside final furlong, never nearer, 4th of 10, 9l behind Flying Tempo (9-12) at Kempton 1m 3f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Mar.
Jd Rockefeller 12-1 (9-4) Held up in rear, ridden and effort from 2f out, never on terms, 5th of 10, 10l behind Flying Tempo (9-12) at Kempton 1m 3f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Mar.
Dancing Chief (IRE) 33-1 (8-7) Slowly into stride, in rear, soon detached, headway 2f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace, 6th of 11, 7l behind Lea Valley Black (9-0) at Kempton 1m 2yo clm stks (6) pol in Oct.
Darakti (IRE) 7-1 (9-2) Stumbled and hampered start, close up, ridden and switched right over 2f out, led entering final 2f, soon edged left, ridden clear final furlong, eased near finish, won at Southwell 1m 3f 3yo app sell stks (6) fbs beating Ceekay's Girl (8-11) by 8l, 4 ran.