POTENTATE may be the one to side with in a tricky contest. He won his maiden at Chepstow before encountering soft ground in a higher grade handicap at Newmarket and today's conditions should prove more favourable. It was also soft going when Express Himself won at Haydock and he makes his handicap debut today while Al Mukhdam will need to step up on his latest second in this grade at Chester to come out best. Bayleyf handles the track well enough but is upped in class while recent Thirsk runner-up King Of Macedon is unproven over this longer trip.
Al Mukhdam 7-1 (9-3) Led, pushed along over 2f out, headed over 1f out, kept on and no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 2l behind Spanish Plume (8-8) at Chester 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) gf.
Express Himself (IRE) 7-2fav (9-3) Slow to get away, held up, not much room just inside 2f out, soon switched right and progress, ran on inside final furlong, led close home, won at Haydock 1m mdn stks (5) sft beating Potent Embrace (8-12) by hd, 11 ran.
Potentate (IRE) 10-3 (8-6) Pulled hard, held up in last trio, ridden over 2f out, soon beaten, 5th of 6, 6l behind Glorious Empire (9-5) at Newmarket 1m hcp 0-90 (3) sft.
King Of Macedon (IRE) 5-1 (9-6) Keen, tracked leader, led entering final 2f, soon put head in air, headed approaching final furlong, kept on under pressure, 2nd of 6, 3/4l behind Mr McLaren (9-6) at Thirsk 7f 3yo hcp 0-80 (4) gf.
Bayleyf (IRE) 7-1 (9-10) Mounted on track, led, ridden and headed over 1f out, kept on one pace, 3rd of 6, 2 1/2l behind Aqua Ardens (9-4) at Epsom Downs 7f clm stks (5) gf.
Mime Dance 8-1 (8-2) Tracked leaders, ridden and no impression over 1f out, stayed on under pressure inside final furlong, not reach leaders, 4th of 7, 6l behind Pretzel (9-2) at Ayr 1m 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gf in Jun.