SMARTY SAM just edges the vote ahead of Dubawi King here, with Cat O' Nine Tails needing to improve to beat the pair. Alan Swinbank's charge was well backed ahead of his handicap debut and showed a really likeable attitude at Ayr to deny a similarly lightly-raced type. Winning by only a head meant the handicapper couldn't go overboard in his reaction and he hasn't with a solitary 2lb rise, which may well enable our pick to go in again. The two-furlong step up in distance is expected to help him to improve if anything and he's taken to beat Dubawi King. Nigel Tinkler's charge has also done well since switched to handicaps, particularly when second to a ready subsequent scorer last time at Beverley. Clearly then a stiff finish over this trip is no problem for the horse but lightening-fast ground may well be and it's only for that reason we oppose him, with the 3lb rise perfectly fair. Cat O' Nine Tails took a remote second to the smart Acquainted at Haydock before being readily brushed aside at Catterick behind Monterrey. Both horses are a cut above this grade but she's probably got to find something extra to win, even off a modest mark of 65; she too would not want the ground like a road. Il Portico isn't overlooked lightly as despite proving generally disappointing since his winning return at Wolverhampton, Mick Channon's charge did seem to enjoy Hamilton's unique test when second three starts back and is now a pound lower; a return to this course could bring about some improvement. In contrast Vittachi disappointed here last time and may not see out the trip and the four horses that prop up the weights all have plenty to find with either Dubawi King or Smarty Sam, with the latter looking to hold particularly strong claims.
Cat O' Nine Tails 9-1 (8-6) Led, headed well over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, no extra entering final furlong, 4th of 13, 10l behind Monterey (8-11) at Catterick 1m 4f mdn stks (5) gf.
Smarty Sam (USA) 9-4fav (9-7) Tracked leaders, driven 2f out, led over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, edged right and regained lead final 75 yards, driven out, won at Ayr 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) gf beating Honoured (8-10) by hd, 7 ran.
Il Portico 14-1 (9-1) Dwelt, always in rear, 10th of 12, 21l behind Kathleen Frances (9-0) at Yarmouth 1m 3f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) gd.
Vittachi 14-1 (9-1) Mid-division, ridden over 3f out, weakened well over 2f out, 6th of 8, 8l behind Bona Fortuna (9-10) at Hamilton 1m 3f 3yo app hcp 0-65 (6) gf.
Dubawi King 8-1 (8-8) Held up in rear, headway over 3f out, ridden over 1f out, every chance entering final furlong, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Captain John Nixon (8-0) at Beverley 1m 4f 3yo hcp 0-55 (6) gd.
On The Right Path 100-1 (8-8) Led 1f, soon steadied in touch, weakened 3f out, 8th of 10, 20l behind Grey Bunting (8-13) at Redcar 1m 2f mdn stks (5) gd.
Patricks Lodge 66-1 (8-5) Behind, pushed along 4f out, never dangerous, 10th of 11, 28l behind Captain John Nixon (8-0) at Beverley 1m 4f 3yo hcp 0-55 (6) gd.
Barastar 14-1 (8-5) Dropped out start, held up, raced keenly, ridden 2f out, no impression, 6th of 7, 8l behind Smarty Sam (9-7) at Ayr 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) gf.
Light The City (IRE) 25-1 (8-0) Held up towards rear, headway over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 5th of 7, 6l behind Smarty Sam (9-7) at Ayr 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) gf.
Star Of Kalani (IRE) 16-1 (8-5) Mid-division and raced wide paddock bend, headway over 7f out, led over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, headed over 1f out, soon weakened, 8th of 11, 12l behind Captain John Nixon (8-0) at Beverley 1m 4f 3yo hcp 0-55 (6) gd.