It's been sometime since LORD OFTHE SHADOWS won but the handicapper has given him a chance dropping him another couple of pounds after a recent fourth at Lingfield. He finished ahead of previous dual winner Mister Musicmaster last time so Richard Hannon's charge gets the nod. Rakaan is usually thereabouts but hard to catch right. He's good enough at this level if in the mood but the likes of Brimstone Hill, Paphos and Russian Ice will all find this tougher than their recent tasks. Afkar and Lady Macduff have claims on the best of last year's form and could figure.
Rakaan (IRE) 7-1 (9-7) Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, headway to chase winner entering final furlong, driven and stayed on towards finish, 2nd of 7, 3/4l behind Al's Memory (9-4) at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol.
Lady Macduff (IRE) 5-1 (9-5) Led, headed over 6f out, tracked leader, ridden 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 12th of 13, 33l behind Afraah (8-13) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Oct.
Tigers Tale (IRE) 16-1 (8-2) Keen tracked leader, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 11th of 12, 21l behind Blue Surf (8-11) at Newbury 1m 2f hcp 105 (2) hvy in Oct.
Mister Musicmaster 4-1 (9-2) Tracked leaders, effort to press leader over 2f out, ridden and every chance inside final furlong, no extra towards finish, 5th of 7, 2 1/2l behind Kickingthelilly (9-2) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-95 (3) pol.
Lord Ofthe Shadows (IRE) 5-1 (8-12) In touch, ridden 3f out, effort over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 4th of 7, 1 3/4l behind Kickingthelilly (9-2) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-95 (3) pol.
Perfect Cracker 25-1 (8-10) Chased leading trio, ridden and one pace inside final 2f, kept on to hold 4th inside final furlong, no impression, 4th of 11, 7l behind Loyalty (9-0) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Feb.
Ree's Rascal (IRE) 8-1 (9-6) Held up, headway 2f out, ridden and every chance over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 8, 8l behind The Cayterers (8-13) at Goodwood 1m 1f hcp 0-90 (3) gd in Aug.
Cawett Cove (IRE) 50-1 (9-0) Took keen hold, prominent, ridden over 3f out, soon weakened, last of 9, 36l behind Desert Vision (9-4) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Jan.
Brimstone Hill (IRE) 15-2 (9-7) Raced wide close up, ridden over 2f out, kept on to go 3rd inside final furlong, 3rd of 9, 2l behind Patriotic (9-5) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Feb.
Paphos Evensfav (9-4) Led, ridden over 1f out, pressed inside final, looked to be holding rival when rider eased down and headed post, 2nd of 5, ns behind Saharia (9-4) at Lingfield 1m sell stks (6) pol.
Russian Ice 7-2 (9-7) Held up, short of room over 6f out, ridden and headway over 1f out, not clear run and switched left when running on inside final furlong, unable to challenge, 3rd of 9, 1l behind The Happy Hammer (9-0) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Feb.
Afkar (IRE) 8-1 (9-0) Chased leader until well over 1f out, stayed chasing leaders, no extra inside final furlong, 4th of 7, 3l behind Light From Mars (9-7) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Feb.
Dutch Old Master 14-1 (8-13) Held up in last trio, pushed along and no progress final 2f, 8th of 11, 11l behind Loyalty (9-0) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Feb.
Decent Fella (IRE) 14-1 (8-12) Awkward leaving stalls, held up in last trio, pushed along and ran wide on bend halfway, soon beaten, last of 8, 18l behind Crew Cut (9-1) at Kempton 6f hcp 0-85 (4) pol.