Putin and Jackie Love are similar types. Both carry penalties for recent victories and are closely matched on earlier form. It's anybody's guess which one of that pair will come out best today so a punt is taken on COMPTON TARGET instead. He finished runner-up at Wolverhampton last week on his first start since September and it's reasonable to expect some improvement with that run under his belt. Greek Islands has slid down the handicap and showed a bit more than Northern Spy and Vale of Lingfield on his latest outing.
Jackie Love (IRE) 10-1 (8-10) Mid-division, headway over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong to lead close home, won at Lingfield 7f hcp (6) pol in Dec beating Silly Billy (9-5) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
Putin (IRE) 5-4fav (8-13) Tracked leaders, headway over 1f out, ridden to lead 1f out, kept on until headed and no extra towards finish, 2nd of 10, 3/4l behind Athaakeel (8-12) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp (0-55) (6) pol.
Play The Blues (IRE) 25-1 (8-9) Chased leaders, every chance well over 1f out, soon hung left, not run on, 5th of 12, 2 1/4l behind Jackie Love (8-10) at Lingfield 7f hcp (6) pol in Dec.
Vermeyen 25-1 (8-11) Raced freely, soon prominent, lost place over 2f out, 7th of 12, 8l behind Maggie Pink (9-0) at Kempton 7f stks 0-55 (6) pol in Oct.
Cut The Cackle (IRE) 12-1 (8-7) Always behind, 9th of 11, 7l behind Putin (8-7) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Greek Islands (IRE) 12-1 (9-0) Tracked leader, led 2f out, soon ridden, headed and one pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 4l behind Sandy Lane (9-0) at Lingfield 7f stks 0-55 (6) pol in Dec.
Teen Ager (FR) 9-1 (8-2) Pulled hard in mid-division, headway to chase leaders over 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, 4th of 12, 2 3/4l behind Join Up (8-9) at Bath 1m hcp (6) gs in May.
Northern Spy (USA) 7-1 (9-2) Held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 5th of 13, 7l behind Bussa (9-3) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-50 (7) pol in Dec.
Invincible Beauty (IRE) 33-1 (8-10) Towards rear and raced wide, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 9th of 13, 9l behind Pastoral Jet (8-11) at Kempton 1m hcp (6) pol in Sep.
Royal Acclamation (IRE) 8-1 (8-10) Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, one pace inside final furlong, 6th of 10, 4l behind All About You (9-3) at Kempton 6f hcp 0-50 (7) pol in Feb.
Vale Of Lingfield (IRE) 6-1 (8-13) Mid-division, ran on inside final furlong, never on terms, 5th of 11, 6l behind Bussa (9-5) at Lingfield 7f hcp (6) pol in Dec.
Dingaan (IRE) 20-1 (8-9) Slowly into stride, in rear, headway when not much room 1f out, edged left inside final furlong, never nearer, 5th of 12, 7l behind Invigilator (9-2) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp (6) pol in Sep.
Compton Target (IRE) 20-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, ridden over 1f out, stayed on under pressure inside final furlong to take 2nd near finish, no impression with winner, 2nd of 11, 2 1/2l behind Dhhamaan (9-4) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-50 (7) pol.
Olynard (IRE) 7-1 (9-1) Mid-division, headway over 2f out, soon chasing leaders, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 11, 12l behind Royal Box (9-1) at Chepstow 7f hcp 0-60 (6) gd in Sep.