FORMIDABLE GUEST may not be the best handicapped horse in the world but her recent runs have at least been consistent and we select her to win ahead of Fandango Boy and Kings Topic. The last-named is a course and distance winner who comes here on the back of a good second at Lingfield. With Jamie Spencer up for the first time she makes some appeal, but we prefer the claims of Formidable Guest. Jeff Pearce's mare was not beaten by far off this mark last time at the track and must be considered a major player assuming she gets the gaps when it matters. Maidanni is intriguing on his first start after over a year off, and the stable are flying, whilst Fandango Boy and Magic Warrior are both fairly consistent performers at this level. Buscador knows how to win here but he needs to bounce back from a disappointing last start, whilst Mambo Sun was in action on Tuesday and may now be high enough in the weights. Any market move for Watchmaker returning to the track after 140 days off would be interesting, but it is Formidable Guest who is given the vote.
Kings Topic (USA) 8-1 (8-9) Set steady pace, headed 7f out, stayed prominent until lost place, last over 2f out, stayed on to take 2nd close home, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 1 1/2l behind Majehar (8-10) at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp 0-70 (5) pol.
Watchmaker 20-1 (9-1) Close up, ridden and lost place 4f out, soon behind, tailed off, last of 11, well behind Cupid's Glory (9-3) at Great Leighs 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Sept.
Maidanni (USA) 12-1 (9-1) Tracked leader, took keen hold, ridden over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 8th of 10, 6l behind Demisemiquaver (8-13) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Dec '07.
Mambo Sun 9-2 (9-4) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, one pace, 4th of 14, 8l behind West End Lad (9-2) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-65 (6) fbs.
Fandango Boy 8-1 (8-2) Chased leaders, hard driven to challenge from 2f out, stayed on well under pressure, 3rd of 8, 3/4l behind Folio (9-4) at Great Leighs 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Debdene Bank (IRE) 11-1 (9-3) Held up in rear, headway to chase leaders over 4f out, effort over 1f out, one pace inside final furlong, 5th of 7, 2l behind Aphrodisia (9-6) at Kempton 1m fll hcp (5) pol.
Buscador (USA) 12-1 (9-2) Pitched and went left at start, led after 1f, pushed along over 4f out, ridden and headed over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 13, 11l behind Templetuohy Max (9-1) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Spinning Ridge (IRE) 40-1 (9-1) Tracked leader, pushed along over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 7th of 10, 7l behind Lopinot (8-12) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Pelham Crescent (IRE) 16-1 (8-12) Mid-division, lost place 3f out, soon not clear run until headway over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, (disqualified and placed last), 3rd of 13, 2l behind Plush (8-13) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Dec. Later dsq to last.
Formidable Guest 17-2 (8-12) Not much room at start, held up in rear, headway over 3f out, led 2f out, ridden over 1f out, headed near finish, 2nd of 13, 1/2l behind Templetuohy Max (9-1) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Magic Warrior 11-1 (8-6) Slowly into stride, shaken up and headway to chase leaders over 1f out, faded final furlong, 5th of 9, 4l behind Fancy Footsteps (8-11) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-70 (5) pol.
Alexander Guru 9-2 (9-1) Took keen hold in mid-division, headway over 4f out, ridden and hung left from over 1f out, weakened and eased inside final furlong, 5th of 9, 7l behind Follow The Flag (9-4) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-65 (6) pol in Nov.
Royal Choir 12-1 (8-10) Chased leaders to over 2f out, soon weakened, 9th of 12, 11l behind Colonel Sherman (8-13) at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp (6) pol.