A number of these are sure-fire improvers but Maid In Heaven impressed at Pontefract last month and gets the nod ahead of Gene Autry and Many A Slip. That said, a strong move in the betting for Swiss Cross would also be interesting, as the Cape Cross colt could be a lot better than he showed on his reappearance. He may have simply been in need of the run at Newmarket. Many A Slip is on the upgrade and, despite being well held in a nursery on his final start as a juvenile; he looks one to keep on the right side this season. John Dunlop's runners do tend to improve for an outing, though. Gene Autry is another that rounded off 2009 on a high note and has many options for the months ahead. A mark of 76 looks fair for the time being and he can be expected to improve for the step up in distance. However, Maid In Heaven is also most likely to appreciate stepping up in distance and, as she has fitness on her side, the Walter Swinburn-trained filly edges the vote as the best option on this occasion.
Mon Brav 17-2 (8-10) Mid-division, outpaced 2f out, soon ridden, stayed on under pressure final furlong, never troubled leaders, 4th of 13, 6l behind Victoire De Lyphar (8-11) at Doncaster 6f 3yo hcp 0-90 (3) gf in Apr.
Silver Symphony (IRE) 18-1 (8-13) With leader 1f, steadied to rear, never a factor after, 5th of 6, 10l behind Hacienda (9-4) at Beverley 7f 3yo hcp 0-90 (3) gf in Apr.
Kumbeshwar 14-1 (8-2) Tracked leaders and keen, one pace from over 1f out, 6th of 9, 4 1/2l behind Monterosso (8-9) at Ripon 1m 3yo hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Apr.
Swiss Cross 8-1 (8-4) Raced stand's side, in touch, 13th of 19, 4 1/2l behind Mister Hughie (9-4) at Newmarket 6f 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Apr.
Masked Dance (IRE) 6-1 (9-7) Led, ridden approaching 1f out, soon headed, kept on, 2nd of 11, 2 1/4l behind Starry Mount (8-11) at Ayr 7f 2yo hcp 0-75 (5) sft in Oct.
Maid In Heaven (IRE) 4-1 (9-0) Towards rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, switched right inside final furlong, kept on to lead post, won at Pontefract 6f 3yo fll mdn (5) gd in Apr beating Fairy Shoes (9-0) by hd, 10 ran.
Gene Autry (USA) 4-6fav (9-3) Chased leader, led 2f out, strongly pressed final 1f, stayed on well, in command towards finish, won at Windsor 6f 2yo mdn (4) gf in Aug beating Bonheurs Art (8-12) by 3/4l, 9 ran.
Kirsty's Boy (IRE) 5-4fav (8-10) Made all, ridden and quickend pace 2f out, stayed on towards finish, won at Lingfield 1m 3yo clm stks (6) pol in Feb beating Tuscan King (8-6) by 1 1/4l, 5 ran.
Many A Slip 5-1 (9-5) Held up in rear, headway 2f out, soon ridden, weakened final furlong, 5th of 7, 11l behind Whippers Love (8-13) at Newmarket 1m 2yo hcp (4) gf in Aug.
Yes Chef 20-1 (8-13) Tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, stayed on inside final furlong, not pace to challenge leading pair, 3rd of 11, 2 1/2l behind The Rectifier (8-13) at Folkestone 7f mdn stks (5) gf in Apr.
Onyx Of Arabia (IRE) 11-4fav (9-3) Mid-division, lost place over 3f out, soon behind, 11th of 14, 17l behind Madam Macie (8-12) at Catterick 7f 2yo mdn aut (5) gd in Oct.
Merchant Of Medici 12-1 (9-7) Took keen hold, soon led, headed over 2f out, soon weakened, 7th of 8, 41l behind Nafura (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f 2yo hco 0-75 (5) pol in Nov.
Deely Plaza 14-1 (8-9) Led, ridden 2f out, headed inside final furlong, kept on, 3rd of 10, 1 3/4l behind Layla's Lexi (8-6) at Haydock 1m 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Apr.
On The Cusp (IRE) 11-1 (9-4) Tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, soon weakened, 12th of 13, 43l behind Lord Raglan (8-10) at Nottingham 1m 3yo hcp 0-70 (5) sft in Apr.