MULLEIN is our idea of the best bet in this decent sprint although Al Gillani is improving at a rate of knots and Espy better than he showed at Bath. There are some nice sorts going to post for this heat but the likes of Spanish Bounty, Victorian Bounty, Baby Strange and Masai Moon all have a little to prove on their seasonal reappearances. Little Edward is probably a little too high in the weights following his win in a less competitive race at Wolverhampton whilst Dvisnky holds no secrets from the handicapper. Espy has to overcome a disappointing return to action at Bath where he was backed into favouritism. It's possible that the ground may have been riding too fast though and he's not written off. Mullein was made favourite for the Silver Cup at Ayr on the back of an impressive win at Windsor and a 6lb rise for winning on her final start could underestimate her as she is potentially useful. The handicapper has struggled to keep pace with Al Gillani who was rated just 57 when winning his maiden but lines up here from a mark of 86 following a 9lb rise for last month's success. He's been turned out quickly in the past so it looks significant that connections eschewed the option of turning him out under a penalty and they will fancy their chances of completing a five-timer but we'll take Mullein to lower his colours.
Spanish Bounty 10-1 (9-0) Led to halfway, weakened over 2f out, last of 18, 24l behind Laddies Poker Two (8-9) at Ascot 6f 3yo hcp (2) gd in Sep.
Baby Strange 14-1 (9-2) Slowly into stride, mid-division, ridden and outpaced from 2f out, weakened final furlong, 8th of 11, 9l behind Knot In Wood (9-2) at Kempton 6f 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Oct.
Little Edward 7-1 (8-13) Held up and keen, headway on inner over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, kept on well, won at Wolverhampton 5f hcp (0-90) (3) pol in Mar beating Bo McGinty (8-4) by 1l, 9 ran.
Masai Moon 20-1 (8-10) In touch, effort over 2f out, weakened approaching final furlong, 16th of 21, 11l behind Invincible Force (8-7) at Doncaster 7f hcap (2) sft in Nov.
Victorian Bounty 16-1 (9-7) Led, ridden over 2f out, hung right and headed over 1f out, soon weakened, 11th of 12, 11l behind Film Maker (9-0) at Great Leighs 6f 3yo hcp (3) pol in Aug.
Mullein 11-2 (9-5) Always prominent, led well over 1f out, ridden and hung right final furlong comfortably, won at Warwick 6f hcap (4) sft in Oct beating Topflightcoolracer (9-1) by 1 3/4l, 12 ran.
Dvinsky (USA) 9-2fav (9-2) Led, ridden over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, no extra, 2nd of 17, 2 3/4l behind Pickering (8-7) at Pontefract 6f hcp 0-70 (5) gf.
Mutamared (USA) 12-1 (9-1) Held up in touch, driven over 2f out, soon under pressure, kept on well towards finish, 4th of 11, 2 3/4l behind Secret Night (8-10) at Lingfield 7f hcp (0-90) (3) pol.
Al Gillani (IRE) 7-4fav (9-1) Tracked leaders on inside, went 2nd travelling well 2f out, led over 1f out, ran on strongly, won at Kempton 6f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Mar beating Resplendent Alpha (9-4) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
Espy 11-4fav (9-2) Slowly into stride, effort over 1f out, no impression, last of 7, 8l behind Carcinetto (8-13) at Bath 5f hcp 0-85 (4) gf.