DON PELE can defy top-weight here at the main expense of Dream Express and Top Flight Splash. Ron Harris' gelding knows this track well and has two course wins to his name. He has won off higher marks in the past and a win here last month suggests he is not a spent force at all. Charles Darwin needs a market check as he returns from a mini-break, Loyal Royal is consistent enough but not easy to win with and tries new headgear, whilst Diane's Choice has been holding his form well and is considered from a nice draw. Dream Express went close here last time, Who's Winning was holding his form well when last seen, whilst Top Flight Splash comes here in good nick and is considered from a good draw having not been with the yard for long. Muktasb has the ability to win but he doesn't tend to find much off the bridle, and so in a tricky opener it is top-weight Don Pele who is preferred.
Don Pele (IRE) 9-1 (9-4) In rear, never a factor, 10th of 13, 8l behind Lujiana (8-11) at Southwell 5f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs.
Charles Darwin (IRE) 11-1 (9-0) Chased leaders until weakened 2f out, 9th of 12, 18l behind Gentle Guru (9-3) at Kempton 6f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Nov.
Soul Murmur (IRE) 25-1 (9-0) Slowly into stride, held up and keen, weakened over 4f out, tailed off, last of 7, well behind My Mate Mal (8-9) at Southwell 1m 4f sell stks (6) fbs in Feb.
Cape of Storms 17-2 (9-3) Hampered start, held up in touch, ridden over 2f out, no impression over 1f out, 5th of 11, 4 1/2l behind Gracie's Gift (9-0) at Southwell 6f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs.
Loyal Royal (IRE) 14-1 (8-8) Slowly into stride, pulled hard in rear, ridden 2f out, never nearer, 5th of 8, 3l behind Sapphire Prince (8-4) at Lingfield 7f hacp 0-70 (5) pol.
Bold Ring 5-1 (8-4) Held up in 6th on inner, short lived effort over 1f out, no danger, 6th of 7, 7l behind Orange Pip (9-4) at Lingfield 6f fll hcp (0-75) (5) pol.
Dream Express (IRE) 16-1 (8-11) Fly jumped start, keen in rear, ridden over 2f out, headway over 1f out, stayed on to go 2nd inside final furlong, 2nd of 11, 1/2l behind Cheery Cat (8-11) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp (0-55) (6) pol.
Diane's Choice 3-1 (9-8) Held up toward rear, headway on inside over 1f out, no extra, 4th of 9, 6l behind Replicator (8-13) at Kempton 6f hcp (0-55) (6) pol in Feb.
Cornus 20-1 (9-1) Held up towards rear, headway under pressure over 2f out, never on terms, 6th of 11, 1 3/4l behind Copperwood (9-3) at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Who's Winning (IRE) 8-1 (9-4) Tracked leaders, challenged 2f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 14, 1 1/4l behind Annes Rocket (9-4) at Kempton 7f hcp (6) pol in Oct.
Top Flight Splash 6-1 (8-10) Led 1f, led again just over 2f out, soon hard ridden and strongly challenged, headed and no extra close home, 4th of 11, 3/4l behind Copperwood (9-3) at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
West Leake (IRE) 25-1 (9-1) Chased leaders, ridden and effort over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 10, 5l behind Woolston Ferry (9-1) at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Muktasb (USA) 4-1 (8-11) Very slowly away, always in rear, 10th of 11, 8l behind Cheery Cat (8-11) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp (0-55) (6) pol.