Stuart Williams will no doubt find a race for The Strig before the season is out but he's facing a couple of in-form rivals here. Commanche landed a claimer at Lingfield two weeks ago but MARIA MONTEZ has the stronger credentials having won easily again at Lingfield on Saturday. A hat-trick beckons for John Hills' filly as she'll be going up more than the 6lb she's penalised here in future and Shelley Birkett again takes off 7lb. Dear Maurice only beat Bermondsey Bob by a head over course and distance last July and is 5lb worse off now while Haadeeth is held by the selection on Salisbury running and Putin normally finds at least one too good. Glan Lady is 5lb out of the handicap proper.
Commanche 6-4fav (9-3) Close up, headway 3f out, ridden to lead approaching final furlong, stayed on, won at Lingfield 7f clm stks (6) pol beating Spark Of Genius (9-1) by 1 1/4l, 8 ran.
Dear Maurice 12-1 (9-0) Mid-division on outside, pushed along before halfway, headway over 1f out, kept on under pressure inside final furlong, 4th of 9, 3 1/2l behind Langley Vale (9-3) at Brighton 6f hcp 0-75 (5) fm.
Haadeeth 8-1 (8-12) Chased leaders, driven over 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, never on terms, 5th of 8, 6l behind Maria Montez (8-5) at Salisbury 6f app hcp (5) gd.
Maria Montez 5-4fav (9-3) Led after 2f, ridden clear over 1f out, stayed on strongly, won at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-60 (6) gf beating Doctor Hilary (8-12) by 3 1/2l, 14 ran.
The Strig 25-1 (8-7) Prominent until 4f out, soon ridden, weakened final furlong, 11th of 18, 8l behind Red Seventy (9-3) at Newmarket 7f hcp 0-80 (4) gf in May.
Putin (IRE) 14-1 (8-3) Led, hung left throughout, headed inside final furlong, no extra, 4th of 9, 1 1/2l behind Tidentime (9-2) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-80 (4) gs.
Bermondsey Bob (IRE) 10-1 (9-7) Chased leaders, pushed along over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, no extra towards finish, 5th of 14, 2 1/2l behind Key Ambition (9-9) at Nottingham 6f hcp 0-65 (6) gd.
Glan Lady (IRE) 16-1 (8-7) Tracked leaders, pushed along over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, ran on final 100 yards, not much room and went 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 10, 3/4l behind Ptolemy (9-6) at Thirsk 7f hcp 0-60 (6) gf.