Tarooq finished just ahead of LOCKANTANKS when runner-up in a more competitive handicap here a fortnight ago. The latter had beaten him with a bit in hand at Kempton in December, however, and is fancied to come out best again here. Mike Appleby's charge also has the beating on earlier form of subsequent dual winner Prince Of Burma, who steps up in class today, as well as Shifting Star and Titan Triumph. Numeral returns from a two month lay-off and beat previous 7f winner Amitola here last time, while Mr Willis is capable in this grade but still looks a shade high in the weights.
Mr Willis 14-1 (8-12) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, not troubled leaders, 6th of 10, 1l behind Loyalty (9-3) at Lingfield 1m stks (3yo+) (3) pol in Dec.
Lockantanks 5-1 (9-0) Broke well, chased leaders, effort over 1f out, stayed on well, never able to challenge, 4th of 8, 1l behind Mull Of Killough (9-1) at Lingfield 1m hcap (2) pol in Jan.
Prince Of Burma (IRE) 2-1fav (9-13) Slowly into stride, soon in touch, good headway on inner to go 2nd 2f out, soon edged left and led, ridden and hung right entering final furlong, soon straightened and ran on, won at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Jan beating Master Of Dance (9-1) by 2 1/2l, 10 ran.
Tarooq (USA) 9-2 (8-8) Led 1f, tracked leader, led again over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, kept on same pace, 2nd of 8, nk behind Mull Of Killough (9-1) at Lingfield 1m hcap (2) pol in Jan.
Amitola (IRE) 5-1 (8-11) Held up in touch, pushed along over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 9, 7l behind The Rectifier (9-2) at Kempton 7f cnd stks (4yo+) (4) pol in Jan.
Smokey Oakey (IRE) 40-1 (8-12) Mid-division far side, lost place 2f out, weakened final furlong, 24th of 35, 21l behind Credit Swap (8-7) at Newmarket 1m 1f hcp (2) sft in Oct '10.
Shifting Star (IRE) 13-2 (9-6) Mid-division, headway on outer from over 1f out, ridden and ran on to lead final strides, won at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Jan beating Chilli Green (9-4) by nk, 8 ran.
Numeral (IRE) 4-1 (9-0) Close up, effort and every chance over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, stayed on, won at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Dec beating Amitola (9-7) by 1/2l, 14 ran.
Titan Triumph 4-1 (9-0) In rear, headway over 1f out, ridden to chase winner inside final furlong, not quicken near finish, 2nd of 9, nk behind Forceful Appeal (9-1) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Jan.
Levitate 12-1 (9-0) Slowly into stride, held up in rear, headway over 1f out, never on terms, 6th of 7, 3 1/2l behind Tewin Wood (8-11) at Southwell 7f hcp 0-85 (4) fbs in Jan.