Golden Desert took advantage of his tumble down the weights to score over C&D last month. This looks his level now but given he's not certain to recapture his best form, a chance is taken that MULLINS WAY can. He too was racing off much higher marks at the start of the year and having shown glimpses of a return to form last time, a speculative vote goes the way of Jo Hughes' charge. Excellent Jem is not out of this on his all-weather debut though Sunshine Always looks to be treading water at present and is getting no help from the handicapper. Exceedexpectations had been in decent form before finding the heavy ground against him at Yarmouth but Epsom winner Purley Queen is preferred.
Excellent Jem 13-8fav (9-7) Close up on outer, effort over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 9th of 10, 13l behind Ambitious Boy (8-12) at Yarmouth 6f mdn hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Aug.
Mullins Way (USA) 14-1 (9-7) Chased leaders, pushed along halfway, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 13, 3l behind Royal Holiday (8-12) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-70 (5) fbs in Nov.
Abhaath (USA) 16-1 (8-13) Towards rear, ridden 2f out, not trouble leaders, 7th of 11, 9l behind Living Leader (9-2) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Nov.
Sunshine Always (IRE) 16-1 (9-3) Dwelt, held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 3rd of 14, 2 1/2l behind Good Luck Charm (9-5) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Nov.
Exceedexpectations 9-2 (9-5) Held up, ridden halfway, weakened over 2f out, last of 10, well behind Zip Lock (9-2) at Yarmouth 7f hcp 0-65 (6) hvy in Oct.
Chevise (IRE) 14-1 (9-2) Steadied towards rear, never a factor, last of 10, 11l behind Lutine Charlie (9-0) at Brighton 1m hcp 0-70 (5) fm in Sep.
Golden Desert (IRE) 6-1 (9-2) Held up in rear, headway over 1f out, squeezed through to challenge entering final furlong, ran on to lead close home, won at Lingfield 7f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Nov beating Muhandis (9-2) by hd, 14 ran.
Hereford Boy 33-1 (9-0) Held up in last pair, moderate headway final furlong, never involved, 10th of 14, 10l behind Authoritarian (8-11) at Windsor 1m hcp 0-70 (5) hvy in Oct.
Thereabouts (USA) 6-1 (9-5) Prominent, ridden 2f out, kept on same pace, 4th of 10, 5l behind Ambitious Boy (8-12) at Yarmouth 6f mdn hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Aug.
Fishforcompliments 10-1 (9-2) Held up in rear, headway over 1f out, soon chasing leaders, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 13, 1/2l behind Royal Holiday (8-12) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-70 (5) fbs in Nov.
Zip Lock (IRE) 28-1 (9-4) Chased leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 12, 8l behind Mother Jones (8-12) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Nov.
Purley Queen (IRE) 25-1 (8-6) Held up, headway on outer entering final 2f, led inside final furlong, ridden and ran on, won at Epsom Downs 7f hcp 0-75 (5) gd in Sep beating Young Dottie (9-2) by 2 1/4l, 10 ran.
Spin Again (IRE) 10-1 (9-3) Behind, headway over 1f out, ran on strongly, nearest finish, 4th of 14, 1l behind Golden Desert (9-2) at Lingfield 7f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Nov.
Linkable 7-1 (9-3) Led, headed over 7f out, tracked leader, pushed along over 4f out, weakened over 1f out, soon eased, last of 10, 27l behind Wildomar (9-3) at Kempton 1m 4f mdn auc stks (5) pol in Oct.