Take The Breeze was good value for his win at Sandown in November but an 8lb rise for that success made life more difficult for the Paul Nicholls-trained gelding at Ascot subsequently and, off the same mark again today, he looks best watched with preference for SMOOTHLY DOES IT, who gets the vote over Make Haste. The son of Sadler's Wells should appreciate the drop back in trip today having seemingly not stayed 2m6f at Ascot last time and given the good form of runners from the yard of Venetia Williams, he has to be respected. Don McCain's Mohayer was very disappointing at Musselburgh last time but would have claims on earlier form and he does come from a stable in good heart. Picot De Say has a nice racing weight and could be of interest back over hurdles having been running over fences of late. The vote though goes to Jim Best's Smoothly Does It, who was still there with every chance when falling two out at Hereford last time and, on ground that suits, he looks worth chancing.
Take The Breeze (FR) 14-1 (10-9) Mid-division, headway after 5th, effort after 3 out, beaten next, 8th of 21, 14l behind Sentry Duty (11-9) at Ascot 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gs in Dec.
Kings Quay 40-1 (11-4) Always behind, tailed off when pulled up 3 out in race won by Arctic Wings (10-2) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan, 14 ran.
Share Option 20-1 (11-12) Held up, headway approaching 3 out, soon beaten, 8th of 12, 27l behind Red Admiral (11-8) at Ludlow 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Jan.
Mohayer (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Tracked clear leader, ridden 3 out and soon weakened, 10th of 14, 18l behind European Dream (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd.
Smoothly Does It 16-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, led 3 out, ridden and headed, close 4th when fell 2 out in race won by Tender Falcon (11-3) at Hereford 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) sft in Dec, 16 ran.
Make Haste (IRE) 7-1 (11-5) Mid-division until dropped rear 8th, ridden and headway after 3 out, stayed on from next, 6th of 16, 9l behind Cruchain (11-7) at Ascot 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Dec.
Picot de Say 5-1 (11-5) Held up, blundered badly 6th and pulled up at the 7th in race won by Fix The Rib (11-6) at Kempton 2m hcp chs 0-120 (3) sft in Jan, 7 ran.