As ever the market will help sort this contest out but KNOCKAVEEN sets a reasonable standard and may defy a penalty, with Desolait and My Clementine put forward as possible dangers. Alan Swinbank has an enviable record in this sphere and his mare has advertised that fact well with two solid placed efforts following a decent debut victory. The ground isn't set to pose any problem for her and she's travelled powerfully on all three starts so far, strengthening the belief that this furlong shorter trip is a further pointer to her chances. She certainly rates the benchmark for others to aim at and it'll be interesting to see how they shape in the betting, with Desolait looking a likely type on paper. Nigel Twiston-Davies has his string in fine fettle and this mare is related to several bumper winners, many of whom coped with a bit of give in the ground, so if there's strong market support it may pay to take note. At this stage the race looks set to be dominated by the aforementioned pair, but My Clementine is still of some interest. Mick Easterby's charge is related to bumper winners in France and the yard know how to ready one, so whilst we're not convinced she'll be able to reach the level shown by our pick it would be folly to ignore her completely. Similar comments apply to Pickworth who represents a strong Northern yard, although she was a relatively cheap purchase and might need a furlong or two more to be seen at her best. Foxy Gale has her second start and whilst she needs to improve on what she showed on debut that is entirely possible especially as the yard's runners do tend to come forward with their racing, whilst Bach Street Girl showed form in points and clearly has a degree of ability. Mont Emeraude may be better for slightly better ground but failed to show enough promise on debut to merit selection and we feel that Knockaveen may set too tough a standard for her opponents, so she gets the vote.
Knockaveen (IRE) 5-2 (11-2) Tracked leaders, led over 2f out, soon hung left, headed entering final furlong, soon weakened, 3rd of 12, 4 1/2l behind Banjaxed Girl (10-12) at Wetherby 2m N H flat (5) sft in Nov.
Alkippe 66-1 (9-13) Held up in rear and keen, effort over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 8th of 9, 16l behind Definite All Star (11-2) at Musselburgh 2m mdn NH flat (5) gs in Nov.
Allbarkanobite Kadastrof mare out of Come The Dawn.
Bach Street Girl (IRE) 6-4 (12-0) Ww, prog 4out, gd prog to 2nd 2out, ld late, row, won at Taylorstown 3m ire ptp gd in Apr beating Castle Hall (12-0) by nk, 13 ran.
Classical Mist Classic Cliche mare out of Mademist Jaz.
Desolait Erhaab mare out of Brambly Hedge.
Foxy Gale (IRE) 40-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, behind final 6f, 7th of 9, 46l behind Brixen (11-2) at Southwell 2m N H flat (4) std in Jan.
Mont Emeraude (FR) 11-2 (10-10) Held up in last pair, took keen hold, headway 7f out, weakened over 2f out, 4th of 7, 37l behind Good Faloue (10-5) at Huntingdon 2m N H flat (6) sft in Dec.
My Clementine (IRE) Classic Cliche mare out of Kimpour.
Pickworth (IRE) Milan mare out of Loshian.