HI NOTE was such an easy winner at Stratford last week that it's no surprise Sheena West turns her out again quickly here under a penalty. She gets the nod as she may still be heading in the right direction, though will have to be at her best to deny the also-improving Coffee a hat-trick after wins at Worcester and Uttoxeter. Smokey Oakey has been running on the Flat while Violets Boy won easily at Hereford in August but Tony Star, Joseph Lister, Specialagent Alfie and San Telm are up against in-form rivals on returning from a break and Reaction is only a plater nowadays.
Tony Star (FR) 9-1 (10-8) Held up towards rear, headway before 2 out, ridden after last, kept on to take 2nd close home, no impression on winner, 2nd of 19, 2 1/2l behind Red Merlin (11-3) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in May.
Hi Note 10-3 (10-9) Tracked leader, led 7th, clear after 2 out, easily, won at Stratford 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs in Sep beating Hawkhill (11-7) by 25l, 9 ran.
Joseph Lister 12-1 (11-1) Soon tracking leaders, ridden approaching 2 out, soon outpaced, weakened flat, 7th of 16, 19l behind Kasbadali (11-0) at Ascot 3m cnd hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Apr.
Specialagent Alfie 9-4fav (10-13) Tracked leader from 2nd, challenged 3 out, every chance last, ridden and one pace when lost 2nd flat, 3rd of 8, 2 3/4l behind Sweet World (10-3) at Worcester 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in May.
Violets Boy (IRE) 3-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, every chance 2 out, soon led, headed approaching last, rallied to lead again flat, stayed on gamely, won at Hereford 2m 1f nov hdl (4) gf in Aug beating Churchfield Champ (11-5) by 1 3/4l, 5 ran.
San Telm (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Chased leaders, ridden 3 out, kept on same pace, 4th of 11, 7l behind Conquisto (11-2) at Fakenham 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Mar.
Coffee (IRE) 5-2fav (11-7) Held up, jumped left and not fluent 2nd, headway 7th, led and wanting to go left from 2 out, comfortably, won at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Sep beating Cerveza Dinero (11-4) by 4 1/2l, 14 ran.
Smokey Oakey (IRE) 25-1 (11-7) In touch, headway before 3 out, challenged 2 out, ridden before last, no extra from last, 3rd of 7, 5l behind Fourth Estate (11-4) at Doncaster 2m 4yo nov stks (4) gd in Mar.
Reaction 11-2 (10-12) Chased leaders, pushed along when not fluent 5th, went 2nd before next until approaching 2 out, soon outpaced, 3rd of 4, 11l behind Forty Thirty (11-1) at Stratford 2m sll hdl (5) gs in Aug.