CONFIDE IN ME has solid claims in this company and is fancied to get us off to a flyer. Clerical and Rascal In The Mix are others worth bearing in mind, while Riviera Red is a previous course and distance winner and makes some appeal on the pick of his efforts. The last named has been out of action for 264 days, though. So his fitness obviously has to be taken on trust. Rascal In The Mix comes here on the back of her best effort to date and, assuming she handles the surface; the Richard Whitaker-trained filly can play a strong role today. She seems best when held up for a late run, so her proven stamina may expose any weaknesses amongst the others. Clerical created a favourable impression when stepped up in trip at Kempton recently - the gelding just failed to reel in the winner over an inadequate seven furlongs. The extra distance will help and, as he was heavily backed last time out; it would come as no surprise to see this fellow being a popular choice here. Nevertheless, Confide In Me showed a willing attitude to score at Wolverhampton nine days ago and he will be hard to get past if he is in the same frame of mind again today.
Confide In Me 3-1fav (9-3) Held up mid-division, headway 3f out, hung left and led inside final furlong, just held on, won at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp (6) pol in Oct beating Herbert Crescent (9-0) by ns, 12 ran.
Josr's Magic (IRE) 16-1 (8-12) Held up, effort over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 8th of 13, 11l behind Red Suede Shoes (9-1) at Kempton 1m hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Oct.
Sir Orpen (IRE) 9-1 (8-4) In rear, raced keenly, ridden over 2f out, never dangerous, 6th of 8, 9l behind Averoo (8-9) at Leicester 7f all hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Oct.
Harty Boy (USA) 33-1 (9-2) Soon in rear, headway over 1f out, never dangerous, 6th of 17, 8l behind Bob Stock (9-4) at Warwick 1m 3yo hcp 0-60 (6) gf in May.
Clerical (USA) 8-1 (9-0) Went right start, towards rear, headway on outside over 1f out, ran on to take 2nd towards finish, no impression on winner, 2nd of 12, 2 3/4l behind Ede's Dot Com (8-9) at Kempton 7f stks 0-55 (6) pol in Oct.
Rascal In The Mix (USA) 9-1 (8-7) Held up in rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, went 2nd near finish, no impression, 2nd of 12, 1 1/2l behind Mondego (8-11) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f stks 0-55 (6) pol in Oct.
Spinning Ridge (IRE) 40-1 (9-3) In rear, hampered over 2f out, soon beaten, 8th of 12, 18l behind Confide In Me (9-3) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp (6) pol in Oct.
Wunder Strike (USA) 5-1fav (8-13) Chased leaders, driven along over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 11th of 14, 13l behind Ocean Countess (9-2) at Brighton 1m 3yo hcp 0-60 (6) gd in Oct.
Gracie's Games 12-1 (8-8) Edged left start, took good hold in mid-division, pushed along over 2f out, headway over 1f out, no impression inside final furlong, 4th of 10, 5l behind Charlie Delta (9-0) at Kempton 6f hcp 0-52 (6) pol in Oct.
Riviera Red (IRE) 11-2 (9-7) Keen, held up in touch, ridden to hold place over 2f out, chased leading pair over 1f out, led inside final furlong, ridden out, won at Lingfield 1m 3yo stks (7) pol in Feb beating Halsion Challenge (9-7) by 1l, 9 ran.
Kinsman (IRE) 8-1 (8-5) Always towards rear, never on terms, 9th of 12, 12l behind Whodunit (8-12) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-50 (6) pol in Feb.
Mountain Forest (GER) 14-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, headway on outside 3f out, no impression final furlong, 4th of 11, 6l behind Lady's Art (9-0) at Kempton 1m stks 0-55 (6) pol in Oct.