Three times a winner at this track, ACE OF SPIES finished runner-up to Elhamri in a higher grade contest over C&D on his penultimate start. A repeat of that effort should be good enough here. He's just preferred to Takajan who scored over track and trip earlier this month with today's rivals Beckermet and Besty behind. The latter is proving inconsistent, while the more reliable Where's Reiley has done all his winning on Fibresand over the minimum trip. Interchoice Star has been placed in lesser company of late and improvement is called for if he's to figure this contest.
Ace of Spies (IRE) 8-1 (9-5) Led, ridden and headed over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 5th of 7, 8l behind Steed (9-13) at Southwell 7f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs.
Besty 10-1 (9-5) Tracked leader until ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 7, 15l behind Takajan (8-6) at Southwell 6f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs.
Durham Express (IRE) 8-1 (9-7) Soon led, ridden over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, weakened towards finish, 4th of 9, 1 1/2l behind Ingleby Arch (9-5) at Ayr 6f hcp 0-75 (5) hvy in Oct.
Mark Anthony (IRE) 8-1 (9-3) Raced wide tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, last of 10, 7l behind Waabel (9-7) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Takajan (IRE) 5-1 (9-3) With leader early, tracked leaders, ridden and hung left 1f out, stayed on, 4th of 8, 1 1/4l behind Excellent Show (9-7) at Wolverhampton 6f app hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Where's Reiley (USA) 7-2 (9-3) Dwelt, in rear, ridden halfway, headway entering final furlong, stayed on to go 2nd near finish, 2nd of 9, 1l behind Bookiesindex Boy (9-7) at Southwell 5f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs.
Prince James 11-1 (8-11) Took keen hold, led early, prominent, ridden and outpaced over 2f out, no impression over 1f out, 6th of 8, 10l behind Excellent Show (9-7) at Wolverhampton 6f app hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Beckermet (IRE) 40-1 (8-8) Led, ridden and headed 2f out, kept on, one pace, 4th of 7, 6l behind Takajan (8-6) at Southwell 6f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs.
Desert Falls 8-1 (8-11) Chased leader, ridden and every chance 2f out, weakened approaching final furlong, 9th of 11, 6l behind Conry (8-13) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Nov.
Interchoice Star 9-2 (9-1) Tracked leading trio, ridden halfway, chased winner 1f out, stayed on, 2nd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Final Salute (8-12) at Southwell 6f hcp 0-65 (6) fbs.