Whitbarrow is potentially dangerously well handicapped now but we opt to put our faith in ELUSIVE WARRIOR with Prince Noel also considered. The selection seems to be the best treated of a number of course and distance winners in this field and has been competitive off marks higher than he carries here. Rated at just one pound heavier than his last victory there is just more from his consistent form to recommend him over the others. Whitbarrow is now 12lbs better off than when he last won a race but that came back in October 2007. Since then his rating has tumbled but he did show much improvement over six furlongs here last time. The form from the race is not strong though and his best seems long gone now. Prince Noel is back to a more competitive rating now but is still well above his last winning mark his form though is better than most here. Tri Chara has ability but is in the grip of the handicapper while Caprio has been consistent enough to have a chance but Elusive Warrior looks best treated.
Prince Noel 9-4fav (9-0) In touch, ridden over 2f out, no impression over 1f out, one pace final furlong, 5th of 9, 4l behind Stark Contrast (8-2) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Nov.
Montiboli (IRE) 7-1 (9-1) Broke well, led early, stayed prominent, ridden and one pace final firlong, 6th of 11, 1 1/2l behind Spate River (9-1) at W'hampton 7f 3yo hcp (5) pol in Sept.
Caprio (IRE) 11-2 (9-1) Led, headed 4f out, led again over 2f out, ridden well over 1f out, headed entering final furlong, no extra, 4th of 8, 2l behind To Be Or Not To Be (8-4) at W'hampton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Dec.
Pharaohs Justice (USA) 20-1 (8-13) Went right start, mid-division, ridden and weakened well over 2f out, last of 10, well behind Awatuki (9-6) at Great Leighs 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Nov.
Whitbarrow (IRE) 5-1jt-fav (8-13) In touch, led 3f, driven over 1f, headed well inside final furlong, kept on same pace, 3rd of 11, 1l behind Realt Na Mara (9-4) at Southwell 6f hcp 0-70 (5) fbs.
Elusive Warrior (USA) 5-4fav (10-0) Led, headed over 2f out, every chance over 1f out, no extra inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 3l behind Vogarth (9-11) at Southwell 7f sll (6) fbs.
Tri Chara (IRE) 11-2 (8-12) Prominent, pulled hard, weakened over 1f out, 9th of 11, 11l behind Balata (8-13) at W'hampton 7f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Dec.
Certain Justice (USA) 33-1 (8-11) Keen, in rear, ridden over 2f out, no impression, 9th of 10, 6l behind Trafalgar Square (8-13) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Dec.
Haroldini (IRE) 8-1 (8-10) Held up in rear, effort over 2f, no impression, 5th of 7, 9l behind Silver Hotspur (9-5) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-75 (5) fbs in Dec.