This is all about STAND GUARD with a little bit of history in the offing. He looks to equal China Castle's record of 25 wins on the all-weather after scoring at Southwell last month. Equally at home on this surface, John Butler's charge will start a short-price on such favourable terms and is difficult to oppose. Of the remainder, Tight Knit could go well dropping down in class if running up to his mark, but Mahadee has proved best over a mile so far so Fibresand winner Grandad Mac is preferred over today's distance. Bennelong and Maccabees look to making up the numbers on these terms.
Grandad Mac 5-2 (9-7) Led, ridden when headed over 1f out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 5, 5l behind Fire In Babylon (9-0) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-65 (6) fbs.
Mahadee (IRE) 25-1 (9-13) Slowly into stride, soon mid-division on inside, driven when not much room 2f out, kept on inside final furlong, never reached leaders, 6th of 10, 5l behind Whitby Jet (9-5) at Lingfield 1m 2f hacp 0-70 (5) pol.
Stand Guard 1-66fav (9-5) Tracked sole rival, led on bit 2f out, always in command after, unextended, won at Southwell 1m 4f sell stks (6) fbs in Jan beating Bix (8-3) by 1l, 2 ran.
Bennelong 7-1 (8-12) Held up towards rear, ridden over 2f out, kept on same pace, 6th of 8, 2l behind Cabuchon (9-5) at Lingfield 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Maccabees 50-1 (8-7) Dwelt in rear, effort on outside over 4f out, no impression final 3f, 5th of 10, 11l behind Galiotto (9-5) at Kempton 2m hcp (0-55) (6) pol.
Tight Knit (USA) 12-1 (9-2) Tracked winner, ridden and outpaced from over 2f out, plugged on, 2nd of 5, 19l behind Returntobrecongill (9-5) at Southwell 1m 3f 3yo hcp 0-70 (5) fbs in Dec.