This is as tough as a handicap can get with plenty of the 15 runners having claims and what can only be a tentative vote goes the way of Alan King's TOP MARK, who ran much better when chasing home Inspirina in the Ladies' Derby at Epsom last month and he can go one better dropping down two furlongs. Rod Millman's Eastern Paramour has won his last two outings and has every chance of scoring again off a 3lb higher mark today than last time here over 1m4f. Marcus Tregoning's Doon Kalal is likely to find this tougher than the maiden that he won at Folkestone, while Brian Meehan's Christmas Carnival has yet to confirm that he stays this far. The consistent Sharaayeen and lightly raced Nazreef are others to consider along with Paul Cole's Strategic Mission but it is Top Mark that gets the vote.
Denton (NZ) 2-1 (9-4) Led, joined 3f out, headed 2f out, stayed well there until weakened final furlong, last of 4, 5l behind Herculean (8-12) at Ffos Las 1m 4f hcp 0-95 (3) gs in Aug.
Stan's Cool Cat (IRE) 16-1 (8-13) Chased leader until over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, last of 6, 11l behind Big Bay (9-4) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Nov.
Eastern Paramour (IRE) 11-2 (10-4) Made all, set steady pace, quickened over 4f out, clear over 3f out, edged right and founed extra when challenged inside final furlong, won at Newbury 1m 4f ladys hcp 0-80 (4) gs in Aug beating Kerchak (9-4) by 1/2l, 9 ran.
Christmas Carnival 9-1 (8-13) Settled in mid-division, headway over 2f out, effort when edged right over 1f out, stayed on well, 4th of 14, 6l behind Taqleed (9-0) at Newmarket 1m 2f hcp 0-95 (3) gs in Aug.
Summer Winds 10-1 (10-0) Chased leader, ridden and every chance 2f out, bumped over 1f out, weakened soon after, 8th of 11, 13l behind Sequillo (9-11) at Sandown 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) gf in Aug.
Munsarim (IRE) 11-4 (9-5) Led, edged right and headed over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 4th of 6, 17l behind Magicalmysterytour (10-0) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) sft in Aug.
Nazreef 5-2fav (9-3) Took keen hold, tracked leaders, ridden and pressed leaders 2f out, stayed on same pace and lost 3rd well inside final furlong, 4th of 9, 3 1/2l behind Beachfire (9-1) at Sandown 1m 1f 3yo hcp 0-90 (3) gd in Jun.
Doon Kalal (IRE) 20-1 (9-3) Made virtually all, ridden over 2f out, in no danger inside final furlong, ran on well, won at Folkestone 1m 2f mdn stks (5) gd in Aug beating Nerves Of Steel (9-3) by 4l, 8 ran.
Dahaam 6-1 (9-9) Prominent, left in lead centre group 6f out, ridden, edged right and headed over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 9, 9l behind Kalk Bay (8-11) at Newmarket 1m 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) sft in Aug.
Sanctuary 10-3 (9-7) In touch, headway 3f out, went 2nd 2f out, ridden to lead narrowly over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, lost 2nd near finish, 3rd of 5, 2 3/4l behind Graceful Descent (9-2) at Hamilton 1m 3f hcp 0-75 (5) gs in Aug.
Top Mark 7-1 (10-0) Keen and tracked leaders, lost place over 4f out, headway over 1f out, stayed on to go 2nd inside final furlong, 2nd of 8, 4l behind Inspirina (10-7) at Epsom Downs 1m 4f ldy hcp (4) gd in Aug.
Sharaayeen 15-2 (8-5) Tracked leaders, led over 2f out, headed over 1f out, stayed on well, no chance with winner, 2nd of 14, 4l behind Taqleed (9-0) at Newmarket 1m 2f hcp 0-95 (3) gs in Aug.
Truly Asia (IRE) 14-1 (9-7) Broke well, soon held up in 6th, pushed along over 4f out, switched left over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong to take 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 7, 1 3/4l behind Grams And Ounces (8-12) at Folkestone 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Aug.
Strategic Mission (IRE) 9-2 (9-10) Tracked leaders, led over 3f out, headed over 2f out, ridden and kept on one pace, 2nd of 8, 4l behind High Five Society (9-8) at Leicester 1m 2f app hcp 0-70 (5) sft in Aug.
Scottish Boogie (IRE) 7-1 (9-6) Took keen hold, held up towards rear, headway on outside from 2f out, to 3rd over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong but never any chance with easy winner, 3rd of 9, 5l behind Lyric Poet (8-6) at Lingfield 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) sft in Aug.