The on-form ISTIQDAAM must have a really strong claim on this mile handicap and Mick Easterby's gelding is our confident selection ahead of Hilbre Court and Hereford Boy. Having won two of his last three starts including in a hot form race last time out the selection won with enough in hand on that last run to suggest his mark rise of four pounds is light. Hilbre Court has also hit form recently with a win and a runner¿s up spot from his last two starts. Both have been at Southwell and his form suggests he's more suited to the Fibresand than the Polytrack. Because of that Hereford Boy might be a bigger danger having won over course and distance two starts back. He ran well enough under this revised mark last time to suggest he can handle the extra weight and a bold bid is not ruled out. Outside this trio veteran Prince Of Thebes looks to have place claims at a price but Istiqdaam is a confident pick for the win.
Weald Park (USA) 20-1 (8-3) Tracked leaders, ridden and weakened over 3f out, 6th of 7, 23l behind Black Eagle (8-9) at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp 0-100 (2) pol in Nov.
Mister Green (FR) 25-1 (9-1) Mid-division, pushed along and headway 2f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, headed final strides, 2nd of 11, nk behind Young Dottie (8-13) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Dec.
Istiqdaam 4-5fav (9-4) Tracked leaders, ridden to chase leader over 1f out, led 1f out, driven and ran on, won at Wolverhampton 7f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Dec beating Striker Torres (9-2) by 3 1/2l, 10 ran.
Hilbre Court (USA) 9-1 (9-4) Prominent, ridden 5f out, led over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 10, 2 1/4l behind Ours (8-12) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-75 (5) fbs in Dec.
Dinner Date 10-1 (8-7) Held up in touch, weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 13, 3 1/2l behind Poyle Meg (8-13) at Kempton 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Dec.
Perfect Class 7-1 (8-8) Slowly into stride, took keen hold, held up in last pair, slightly hampered 6f out, never a factor, 8th of 10, 8l behind Resort (9-7) at Windsor 1m flls hcp 0-85 (4) gf in Aug.
Prince Of Thebes (IRE) 10-1 (9-2) Dwelt, raced wide, held up in touch, ridden to go 4th over 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 8th of 11, 11l behind Dream Of Fortune (8-10) at Kempton 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Dec.
Carlitos Spirit (IRE) 25-1 (8-10) In touch on outside, pushed along over 2f out, soon one pace and no impression, 7th of 14, 4l behind Arachnophobia (9-1) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Sep.
Hereford Boy 9-1 (8-10) Held up in rear, ridden and headway on outer approaching final furlong, kept on towards finish, 4th of 11, 1 1/4l behind Moojeh (9-1) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Dec.
Sapphire Prince (USA) 25-1 (8-13) Held up in rear, pushed along and struggling over 2f out, never a factor, 7th of 8, 6l behind Wunder Strike (8-5) at Kempton 1m 3yo hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Dec.