NIGHTJAR can land his hat-trick at the principal expense of Southandwest and Willkandoo. Mark Johnston's charge won well at Southwell last time out, confirming the positive impression that he gave when successful here in December. He should be capable of further progression and can oblige here. Southandwest won well at Lingfield on his most recent start. There is an argument to suggest that he is still well handicapped on some of his earlier form. Willkandoo has recently switched to David Simcock's stable and put up a smart effort last time out behind a couple of useful sorts. Ravi River is better than his latest effort suggests but he requires settling early in order to have any chance. Silver Wind is back in a visor after a run in blinkers yielded little fruit. Blue Charm might just be in the grip of the handicapper at present. Nightjar appears to have most positives on this occasion.
Nightjar (USA) 2-1fav (9-2) Prominent, ridden to lead over 2f, driven and kept on gamely final furlong, won at Southwell 7f hcp 0-85 (4) fbs beating Blue Charm (8-6) by 1 1/2l, 8 ran.
Willkandoo (USA) 12-1 (8-8) Tracked leader, ridden to lead over 1f out, headed well inside final furlong, no extra, 3rd of 9, 3/4l behind Councellor (8-10) at W'hampton 7f hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Dec.
Southandwest (IRE) 9-2 (8-11) Towards rear, effort and headway on inside over 2f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, kept on, won at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Dec beating I Confess (8-11) by 3l, 10 ran.
Silver Wind 25-1 (8-3) Behind, under pressure over 2f out, good headway over 1f out, stayed on to close on leaders towards finish, 4th of 12, 2l behind Resplendent Nova (8-6) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-90 (3) pol in Nov.
Only A Game (IRE) 20-1 (9-4) Chased leaders, ridden 2f out, soon weakened and eased, last of 10, 24l behind Charles Parnell (9-4) at Southwell 6f hcp 0-80 (4) fbs in Dec.
Ravi River (IRE) 15-8fav (8-4) Led early, raced keenly, chased winner until 2f out, ridden over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, last of 6, 2 1/2l behind Dvinsky (8-13) at W'hampton 6f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Dec.
Blue Charm 10-3 (9-1) Chased leaders, ridden to challenge over 1f out, every chance entering final furlong, no extra towards finish, lost 2nd final strides, 3rd of 8, 3/4l behind Pegasus Again (9-4) at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-70 (5) pol.