A big field in which nothing stands out and STANLEY RIGBY rates only a speculative selection. He showed massive improvement for Richard Fahey last season, however, when winning five times at Southwell and may be capable of better yet back on turf for the first time in nearly two years. Jack Dawkins has become increasingly hard to predict and was tailed off at this track in between a couple of wins on the Fibresand while winning hurdlers Not Til Monday and John Forbes did their winning on the Flat last year over longer trips. Deep Applause will handle the going and may figure but today's surface could prove a stumbling block for Al Furat.
Jack Dawkins (USA) 5-1 (9-3) Tracked leader, led 4f out, clear over 2f out, eased final furlong, comfortable, won at Southwell 1m 3f clm stks (6) fbs beating Trans Sonic (9-1) by 9l, 7 ran.
Stanley Rigby 9-2 (9-0) In rear, headway on outer to track leaders 6f out, ridden 4f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 8, 16l behind Follow The Flag (9-6) at Southwell 1m 3f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs in Dec.
Not Til Monday (IRE) 8-1 (9-10) Led early, soon settled tracking leaders, headway to 2nd 10f out until 6f out, remained in handy 3rd, ridden 3f out, no extra over 1f out, 7th of 11, 8l behind Rasheed (9-6) at Kempton 2m hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Feb.
Burns Night 25-1 (9-6) Held up, weakened 4f out, 13th of 14, well behind Carinya (9-3) at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) sft in Nov.
John Forbes 20-1 (9-5) Always in rear, 5th of 6, 12l behind Mazij (9-2) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs in Dec.
Silent Decision (USA) 66-1 (9-4) Held up towards rear, pushed along over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, never dangerous, 11th of 12, 9l behind Red Somerset (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Al Furat (USA) 7-1 (8-8) Took keen hold, held up in mid-division, ridden over 3f out, one pace in 6th and no impression when not much room over 1f out, 6th of 10, 14l behind Countrywide Flame (8-13) at Redcar 1m 6f hcp 0-75 (5) sft in Oct.
Danceintothelight 10-1 (9-4) Behind, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, nearest finish, 4th of 11, 7l behind Golden Future (8-10) at Catterick 1m 6f hcp 0-75 (5) gs.
Deep Applause 20-1 (9-0) Slowly into stride, held up in rear, never involved, 10th of 12, 29l behind Thackeray (8-9) at Pontefract 1m hcp 0-70 (5) gd.
Dzesmin (POL) 9-2 (8-12) Mid-division, took keen hold, headway halfway, soon chasing leaders, every chance over 2f out, soon hung left and faded, 5th of 11, 13l behind Lifetime (9-2) at Newcastle 1m 4f hcp 0-70 (5) sft.
Light The City (IRE) 14-1 (8-9) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, challenged over 4f out until ridden 3f out, weakened 2f out, last of 8, 25l behind Shifting Gold (8-10) at Southwell 1m 6f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs.
Lady Norlela 12-1 (9-6) Held up towards rear, ridden over 1f out, some late headway, never a factor, 8th of 13, 11l behind Damascus Symphony (9-0) at Newcastle 1m 4f hcp 0-65 (6) sft in Oct.
Strong Knight 9-2 (9-0) Tracked leaders, led 4f out, soon joined, ridden and headed 2f out, kept on one pace, 4th of 11, 6l behind Gosforth Park (9-4) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Nov.
Bavarian Nordic (USA) 40-1 (8-11) Reared start, behind, ridden 2f out, never dangerous, last of 11, 36l behind Golden Future (8-10) at Catterick 1m 6f hcp 0-75 (5) gs.