Another very competitive handicap, with MISTER NEW YORK taken to complete a hat-trick, although strong challenges can be expected from King's Salute and Buxted. Mister New York likes to come from off the pace, as was the case when winning here and at Wolverhampton in his last two outings. The race here last month was over this trip and at this grade too, and he gets on particularly well with Jim Crowley. Blue Bajan was behind him at Wolverhampton last month off level weights, so with half a stone in hand today, it's hard to side with the latter, who's not won at this trip for more than three years. He could be one for the forecasts or placepot. Buxted makes his handicap debut after winning a maiden on debut over course and distance last month. That was a belated debut for the four year old who'd previously had a back problem. The nature of that victory suggested there are better things in store for him, and he's already got an official rating of 88. Bottom weight King's Salute has been off the track since winning on handicap debut here in the autumn over slightly shorter, and he's got a ton in hand at the weights. American bred, he's a half sister to a Kentucky Oaks winner, and looks to have a promising career ahead of him. It's hugely competitive, with our cash going on Mister New York.
Blue Bajan (IRE) 5-2fav (9-0) Held up in touch, pushed along 3f out, headway well over 1f out, ridden to lead 1f out, headed and unable to quicken final 100 yards, 2nd of 8, nk behind Mister New York (9-0) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f cnd stks (4yo+) (3) pol in Jan.
Mister New York (USA) 4-1 (9-0) Held up, pushed along 3f out, headway towards outside when bumped well over 1f out, ran on to lead final 100 yards, won at Wolverhampton 1m 1f cnd stks (4yo+) (3) pol in Jan beating Blue Bajan (9-0) by nk, 8 ran.
Dance The Star (USA) 3-1fav (9-7) Steadied start, held up in rear, headway over 2f out, soon led, ridden out, won at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Jan beating Coeur de Lionne (9-5) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
Paktolos (FR) 3-1 (9-5) Steadied start, held up in rear, headway over 3f out, led well over 1f out, ran on well, won at Wolverhampton 1m 6f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Jan beating Calculating (8-6) by 3 1/2l, 6 ran.
Full Toss 2-1fav (8-9) Tracked leader, led over 1f out, ridden out, won at Wolverhampton 1m 1f cnd stks (4yo+) (3) pol beating Snow Dancer (8-4) by 1 1/4l, 6 ran.
Valmari (IRE) 50-1 (8-13) Raced wide, tracked leaders, ridden and weakened 3f out, 7th of 8, 9l behind Thunderstruck (9-1) at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Jan.
Buxted (IRE) 5-2 (9-3) Always prominent, led 4f out, hard driven over 2f out, clear approaching final furlong, ran on well, won at Lingfield 1m 4f mdn stks (5) pol in Jan beating Cozy Tiger (9-7) by 9l, 8 ran.
King's Salute (USA) 5-2fav (8-11) Tracked leaders, ridden to lead approaching final furlong, ran on, won at Lingfield 1m 5f hcp (3) pol in Nov beating Coeur de Lionne (9-8) by 2 1/2l, 7 ran.