CORNUS comes here looking for a hat-trick, and we think he can land it, but expect challenges from Mudhish and Ravi River. Alan McCabe's gelding won over course and distance last month and then followed up that success with victory at Lingfield over six furlongs. A quick re-appearance means he's got a six pounds penalty and top weight status, but he's in the form of his life, and sets a decent standard for this level. The yard's in form, and he's Jack Doyle's only scheduled ride. Clive Brittain does well here, and Mudhish was a ready winner at Southwell earlier in the month in what was his first run since August. He's well in at the weights, and well below his rating high of 80 two years ago. Ravi River usually runs prominently and was far from disgraced when narrowly beaten here last time out, but hasn't won for two and a half years. Guilderstern won a couple of lower grade contests last month including here, but may find this opposition too strong, even though they're hardly world beaters themselves. There are positives about several, but our support goes to Cornus.
Cornus 3-1 (9-2) Held up in last place, in touch, effort on inside and soon every chance from over 1f out, ridden inside final furlong, led post, won at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-75 (5) pol beating Compton's Eleven (9-4) by a ns, 4 ran.
Dudley Docker (IRE) 14-1 (9-4) Slowly into stride, in rear, stayed on from over 1f out, never troubled leaders, 4th of 9, 9l behind Strabinios King (8-10) at W'hampton 7f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Jan.
Ravi River (IRE) 12-1 (8-9) Chased leaders, led approaching final furlong, headed inside final furlong not quicken, 2nd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Southandwest (9-4) at W'hampton 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Jan.
Catalan Bay (AUS) 7-2fav (9-4) Tracked leaders, switched to outside well over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, stayed on to chase winner final furlong, always held final 100 yards, 2nd of 8, 1l behind Distinctly Game (9-3) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Jan.
Kensington (IRE) 10-1 (8-10) Held up in touch, ridden over 2f out, stayed on final furlong, 3rd of 6, 1l behind Smarty Socks (9-1) at Southwell 7f hcp 0-80 (4) fbs.
Dhhamaan (IRE) 25-1 (9-1) Prominent, ridden over 1f out, soon weakened, 11th of 12, 17l behind Mister New York (9-2) at W'hampton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Nov.
Peter's Storm (USA) 11-1 (9-2) Outpaced, always towards rear, last of 9, 10l behind Whiskey Creek (8-9) at Southwell 5f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs.
Mudhish (IRE) 7-1 (9-4) In touch, ridden to lead over 2f out, hung badly left over 1f, kept on final furlong, won at Southwell 1m hcp 0-60 (6) fbs beating Moment of Clarity (8-12) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
Guildenstern (IRE) 6-1 (8-9) Held up in rear, switched left inside final 2f, kept on inside final furlong, 6th of 10, 6l behind Last Sovereign (9-4) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.