FIRST SWALLOW won well on his debut here last time and the combination of a rise in the weights and today's sixth furlong may not be enough to prevent the follow-up, with Cool Sands and Tri Chara rated best of the rest. Phillip Makin's mount made all to score over five last time and has been put up 5lbs for that success which appears reasonable. There were plenty of in-form horses in behind that day mixed in with some course specialists and so the form looks rock solid and it may pay to give the horse the chance to score once more despite having a furlong further to travel today. Cool Sands has returned to form of late and this consistent performer should run well, although it's a concern the horse has gone up a couple of pounds without actually winning. Tri Chara is another who likes Southwell and whilst seven furlongs might be this one's best trip they should go a gallop here and his stamina may come into play late on. Josiah Bartlett hails from a bang in-form yard and has dropped to a reasonable mark ahead of his course debut so could go well whilst Danum Dancer ran well enough off 3lbs higher here last time to suggest he can go well, but First Swallow holds the most compelling credentials and so gets our vote.
Music Box Express 8-1 (9-10) Prominent, ridden 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 11, 9l behind Plumage (9-6) at Leicester 6f all hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Jul.
First Swallow 17-2 (8-13) Made all, ridden over 1f out, ran on, won at Southwell 5f Handicap (0-58) (3yo+) (6) fbs in Nov beating Embra (8-13) by 1l, 14 ran.
Tri Chara (IRE) 9-2fav (9-5) Led, ridden over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, soon weakened, 4th of 14, 3 1/2l behind Naomh Geileis (9-4) at Southwell 7f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Nov.
Danum Dancer 8-1 (9-4) Slowly into stride, soon recovered, led over 4f out, hung left and headed over 1f out, edged right and no extra over final furlong, 4th of 12, 4l behind Diamond Blade (8-12) at Southwell 6f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Nov.
Cool Sands (IRE) 8-1 (8-6) Chased leaders, ridden 2f out, effort and soon every chance entering final furlong, stayed on, 3rd of 11, 1l behind Leading Edge (9-1) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Nov.
Golden Dixie (USA) 7-1 (9-2) Mid-division, ridden after 2f, kept on inside final furlong, never dangerous, 6th of 14, 3l behind First Swallow (8-13) at Southwell 5f Handicap (0-58) (3yo+) (6) fbs in Nov.
Only A Game (IRE) 12-1 (9-0) In rear, ridden and headway 2f out, stayed on same pace final furlong, 4th of 13, 2 3/4l behind Fantasy Fighter (8-11) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp (6) pol in Nov.
Josiah Bartlett (IRE) 8-1 (8-6) Dwelt, soon in touch, ridden over 2f out, kept on same pace, 6th of 13, 5l behind Copperwood (8-11) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Nov.
Fulford 28-1 (8-12) Slowly intro stride, early reminders, behind, ridden over 2f out, never on terms, last of 10, 15l behind Dark Moment (9-6) at Newcastle 6f hcp 0-60 (6) gf in Aug.
Desert Dust 100-1 (8-1) Pulled hard, chased leading pair, ridden 2f out, kept on one pace from over 1f out, 5th of 9, 6l behind Billberry (9-1) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Nov.
Brazilian Brush (IRE) 66-1 (8-6) Pressed winner 4f, beaten over 1f out, 8th of 9, 8l behind Misaro (9-7) at Kempton 6f clm stks (6) pol in Nov.
Forrest Star 50-1 (8-4) Chased leaders, ridden and hung left halfway, weakened over 1f out, 9th of 10, 15l behind Imperial Sword (9-7) at Ayr 6f all hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Aug.