QUEVEGA has won the last three renewals of this Grade 2 contest and seems to be getting better with age. She followed up in a Grade 1 at Punchestown after completing her hat-trick last year and, though unraced since, a lay-off hasn't bothered her in the past - she is impossible to oppose today. Willie Mullins could easily have a 1-2 as Dare To Doubt confirmed her wellbeing with a victory over fences at Thurles earlier this month, while fellow Irish raiders Our Girl Salley and Golden Firebird could have place claims. Nick Williams will be looking for a big run from Swincombe Flame, who continued on an upward curve when third in a competitive handicap at Ascot last month, while Violin Davis and Kentford Grey Lady are closely matched on a couple of recent runs and may be the pick of the remainder as Alasi hasn't managed any better than a fourth place in two previous attempts in this.
Alasi 5-2 (11-5) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, every chance approaching last, led flat, held on gamely, won at Doncaster 2m hdl G2 (1) gs in Jan beating Jackies Solitaire (10-3) by ns, 8 ran.
Dare To Doubt 4-6fav (11-7) Chased leaders, closer order 6th, on terms travelling best approaching last, soon led and eased on run-in, very easily, won at Thurles 2m 2f mrs beg chs beating Mayo Mystique (11-2) by 4 1/2l, 11 ran.
Kells Belle (IRE) 2-1 (11-0) Tracked leading trio, headway to chase clear leader after 3 out, ridden and closed before last, led flat, driven and stayed on well, won at Sandown 2m 4f mrs lst hdl (1) sft in Jan beating Kaffie (11-0) by 1 3/4l, 6 ran.
Our Girl Salley (IRE) 3-1 (11-5) Tracked leading pair, taken wide approaching 5th and approaching 9th, ridden approaching 2 out, soon not quicken, no extra in 3rd between last 2, hit last, 3rd of 6, 2 3/4l behind Violin Davis (11-0) at Ascot 3m hdl G2 (1) gs in Jan.
Quevega (FR) 8-11fav (11-5) Chased leaders, closer 4th from 4 out, ridden to lead approaching last where bad mistake but landed running, stayed on well run-in, won at Punchestown 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in May beating Mourad (11-10) by 1 1/4l, 10 ran.
Shop Dj (IRE) 5-2 (10-11) Chased leaders, pushed along in 5th before straight, left a place better from 3 out where hampered, soon challenged, hit last and no impression run-in, kept on same pace, 2nd of 6, 4 1/2l behind Knockfierna (10-11) at Cork 2m 1f mares nov chs Grade 3 (1) in Dec.
Violin Davis (FR) 11-4 (11-0) Tracked leader, led and quickened approaching 2 out, 2 lengths ahead last, hard driven flat, held on all out, great ride, won at Ascot 3m hdl G2 (1) gs in Jan beating Kentford Grey Lady (11-0) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
Golden Sunbird (IRE) 9-1 (10-11) Chased leaders, moderate 2nd after 5 out, slight peck next, 3rd before 2 out, soon no extra, 4th of 9, 20l behind Knockfierna (11-3) at Thurles 2m 4f mrs nov chs Gr3 (1) sft in Jan.
What A Charm (IRE) 9-1 (10-8) Chased leaders, 9th halfway, ridden and no extra before 2 out, 17th of 30, 24l behind Citizenship (10-3) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 in Jan.
Belle De Fontenay (FR) 8-15fav (10-4) Led to after 1st, tracked leader, led again 6th, ridden and headed 2 out (usual 3 out), soon weakened, 3rd of 7, 30l behind Ministerofinterior (10-11) at Leicester 2m 4f sll hdl (5) gd in Dec.
Candelita 5-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, headway 5th, soon went 2nd, every chance 2 out, no extra flat, 3rd of 8, 5l behind Phoenix Flight (11-5) at Leicester 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Cloudy Spirit 14-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, headway 8th, went 3rd 2 out, no impression on front pair, 3rd of 14, 12l behind Big Easy (10-9) at Bangor 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd in Feb.
Dorabelle (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Held up mid-division, outpaced 3 out, kept on from 2 out, no impression, 4th of 10, 20l behind Attaglance (11-9) at Market Rasen 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Feb.
Himayna 16-1 (11-9) Led, headed 7th, chased leaders, lost 3rd at 8th, weakened 2 out, tailed off, 6th of 12, well behind Medic Man (10-12) at Hereford 2m 6f nov hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft.
Ixora (IRE) 9-1 (11-1) Tracked leaders, closed last, led flat, driven out, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gf in Oct beating Cockney Trucker (11-12) by 1 3/4l, 13 ran.
Kentford Grey Lady 13-8fav (11-0) Held up in rear off steady pace, taken wide approaching
Swincombe Flame 4-1fav (10-4) Led until after 2nd, chased leaders, driven after 4 out, led again 3 out, ridden and headed 2 out, stayed on same pace in 3rd and no real impression after, 3rd of 18, 5l behind Bourne (9-11) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) gs in Feb.
Tempest River (IRE) 10-11fav (11-8) Held up in touch, not fluent 3rd, went 2nd 2 out, stayed on same pace flat, no impression on winner, 2nd of 12, 4l behind Baby Shine (11-2) at Leicester 2m mares NH nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Terre Du Vent (FR) 11-2 (10-9) Tracked leading trio, went 3rd after 4th, went 2nd well before 2 out, ridden and looked beaten when fell 2 out, in a race won by Grumeti (11-0) at Kempton 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Feb, 6 ran.
The Strawberry One 12-1 (10-7) Mid-division, pushed along and close enough 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 8th of 14, 13l behind Tetlami (11-0) at Kempton 2m n h flat (6) gd in Feb.