SIERRA ALPHA is taken to land this handicap at the main expense of Strategic Mount and Spirit Is Needed. Trainer Amanda Perrett has come into some form and we saw some improvement from her charge when stepped up to this trip at Kempton last time. The three-year-old should come on for that, and with that good form of the yard auguring well for his chance we will give him the nod. Strategic Mount ran well here in a competitive contest at the July Meeting and remains on the same mark today. Kieren Fallon is booked and this race does not look quite so tough, so he is entitled to go close. Spirit Is Needed goes well over this trip and on the ground, but he is weighted to the hilt, and connections will have to hope for better than he has shown from similar marks now that blinkers are fitted. Captain John Nixon has had a massive hike in the weights since winning easily at Kempton and will find this tough from a new mark of 85 and Sierra Alpha gets the nod.
Spirit Is Needed (IRE) 25-1 (8-4) Always in rear, 13th of 14, 27l behind Dangerous Midge (8-10) at Haydock 1m 4f hcp (4yo+) (2) gf.
Strategic Mount 28-1 (9-13) Held up, progress when hampered over 3f out, ridden 2f out, stayed on final furlong, 4th of 12, 3 1/2l behind Times Up (10-0) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 0-90 (3) gf.
Aurorian (IRE) 14-1 (9-3) Slowly into stride, held up in 5th, travelling well on inside 3f out, stayed on to 3rd entering final furlong, never any chance with leading duo, 3rd of 7, 6l behind Verdant (8-10) at Sandown 1m 2f hcp 0-100 (2) gf.
Clear Reef 12-1 (10-0) Held up in rear, smooth headway 3f out, switched left 2f out, soon led, stayed on well, won at Southwell 1m 6f hcp 0-85 (4) fbs in Dec beating Outrageous Request (8-11) by 2l, 11 ran.
Magicalmysterytour (IRE) 11-1 (9-12) Always in rear, 10th of 12, 15l behind Times Up (10-0) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 0-90 (3) gf.
Granny McPhee 6-1 (9-4) Slowly into stride, held up in rear, headway over 1f out, picked up well to lead well inside final furlong, ran on, won at Chester 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) gf beating Snow Dancer (9-3) by 1/2l, 9 ran.
Eton Fable (IRE) 16-1 (8-12) Led, driven along over 2f out, headed over 1f out, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 6, 3l behind Rajeh (9-2) at Pontefract 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) gf in May.
Archie Rice (USA) 9-2 (9-5) Keen, tracked leader, led over 2f out, headed over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 5th of 7, 4 1/2l behind Rosco Flyer (9-4) at Kempton 1m 3f app hcp 0-80 (4) pol.
Captain John Nixon 8-11fav (9-4) Keen, soon tracked leader, led well over 2f out, clear 2f out, very easily, won at Kempton 1m 4f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) pol in Jun beating Apache Kid (9-3) by 7l, 12 ran.
Sierra Alpha 16-1 (9-5) Tracked leader, pushed along 3f out, led briefly 2f out, slightly brushed as winner quickened past well over 1f out, 2nd and no chance final furlong, 2nd of 12, 4 1/2l behind Arctic Cosmos (9-4) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Jun.