Strophic makes his handicap debut and will attract support with Richard Hughes doing the steering but AL AQABAH could prove too good for him. The latter was left with plenty of ground to make up over C&D last week, but did so willingly, and she looks capable of following up despite a penalty. Exceedingly Bold had previous winner Tewin Wood behind when fourth over 7f here recently and he can figure, but Peadar Miguel may pose a bigger threat having beaten Ilie Nastase and Unbreak My Heart when third at Lingfield on his latest start.
Al Aqabah (IRE) 3-1fav (9-1) Slowly away, held up in rear, headway on outside over 1f out, strong run inside final furlong, led last strides, won at Kempton 1m hcp 0-65 (6) pol beating Florio Vincitore (8-11) by hd, 14 ran.
Tewin Wood 16-1 (9-4) Led, pulled hard, headed over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, weakened well inside final furlong, 9th of 13, 4 1/2l behind Double Carpet (8-9) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Feb.
Exceedingly Bold 14-1 (9-2) Held up mid-division, headway on inner over 2f out, kept on towards finish, 4th of 13, 1 1/2l behind Double Carpet (8-9) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Feb.
Pipers Piping (IRE) 8-1 (9-2) Dwelt in rear, not troubled leaders, 7th of 10, 4 1/2l behind Waabel (9-7) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Feb.
Peadar Miguel 7-2fav (9-6) In rear, ridden 2f out, headway inside final furlong, stayed on to go 3rd near finish, 3rd of 10, 1 1/4l behind Chief Exec (9-4) at Lingfield 1m hacp 0-70 (5) pol in Feb.
The Shuffler 7-1 (9-6) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, headway over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 9th of 13, 8l behind Croeso Cusan (9-1) at Windsor 1m hcp 0-70 (5) sft in Oct.
Ilie Nastase (FR) 8-1 (9-5) Towards rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, no impression final furlong, 7th of 10, 3 1/2l behind Chief Exec (9-4) at Lingfield 1m hacp 0-70 (5) pol in Feb.
Prince Of Thebes (IRE) 16-1 (9-1) Tracked leader, ridden 2f out, no extra inside final furlong, 6th of 8, 6l behind Lockantanks (9-4) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Jan.
Aviso (GER) 7-1 (9-4) In rear, ridden 2f out, never dangerous, 7th of 9, 12l behind April Fool (8-12) at Kempton 7f 4yo clm stks 0-70 (5) pol in Feb.
Strophic 9-2 (9-12) Keen held up, headway on outer 3f out, ridden to challenge leader over 1f out, every chance inside final furlong, driven edged right and weakened near finish, 4th of 9, 2 1/2l behind Crystal Sky (8-0) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f mdn stks (5) pol in Feb.
Unbreak My Heart (IRE) 66-1 (9-1) Always in rear, 8th of 10, 5l behind Chief Exec (9-4) at Lingfield 1m hacp 0-70 (5) pol in Feb.