Cadgers Brig couldn't follow-up his earlier runaway victory over 1m4f here off a 14lb higher mark last time. He has scope for further improvement this year, but this could be fought out between Appeal and THE WINGED ASSASIN. The former's winning run came to end when runner-up to La Estrella here last week with the latter less than a length behind in third. However, today's top weight is fancied to reverse running with Ryan Powell's 5lb claim likely to make the difference. Leyte Gulf won this in 2010 but arrives out of sorts this time around and is hard to fancy.
The Winged Assasin (USA) 18-1 (8-12) Prominent, joined leader halfway, led over 6f out, hard ridden over 2f out, headed entering final furlong, no extra, 3rd of 7, 2 3/4l behind La Estrella (10-0) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp (4) pol in Dec.
Cadgers Brig 11-10fav (10-1) Tracked leader, led 4f out, driven over 2f out, ridden and headed over 1f out, kept on same pace, no extra when lost 2nd towards finish, 3rd of 11, 2 3/4l behind Honourable Knight (9-2) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Dec.
Appeal (IRE) 5-4fav (8-7) Tracked leaders, hard driven to challenge well over 1f out, every chance inside fianl furlong, no extra closing stages, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind La Estrella (10-0) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp (4) pol in Dec.
Ghufa (IRE) 33-1 (9-6) Mid-division, ridden over 3f out, weakened 2f out, 7th of 10, 11l behind Kames Park (8-13) at Lingfield 1m 4f app hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Dec.
Dart 13-2 (9-8) Dwelt mid-division, headway over 3f out, soon went 2nd going well, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 11, 5l behind Dream Catcher (9-7) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Dec.
Little Jazz 12-1 (8-12) Held up in touch, ridden over 2f out, one pace inside final furlong, 4th of 5, 3 1/2l behind Junoob (8-13) at Kempton 1m 4f 3yo clm stks (6) pol in Nov.
Leyte Gulf (USA) 9-2fav (9-8) Slowly away in rear, headway on inner over 2f out, switched right over 1f out, ridden and kept on same pace, 4th of 11, 8l behind Dream Catcher (9-7) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Dec.