Steelcut won four times at Wolverhampton in 2011 including his latest start when scoring over the minimum trip last month. He remains on a winning mark, but Rio Royale is 4lb higher than when landing the same division of this race last year, though he does arrive in good form having won over 7f in October. Efistorm just held off the attentions of Speak The Truth over track and trip a week ago, but was well beaten here on Wednesday, while Green Earth's recent victory came over a mile at Kempton. PICANSORT won one of these sprint series qualifiers at this time last year off a 3lb higher mark. With a recent run under his belt, Peter Crate's charge looks ready to strike again and he gets the nod.
Steelcut 9-2 (9-7) Held up in rear, headway over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong to lead last strides, won at Wolverhampton 5f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Dec beating Griffin Point (9-4) by hd, 10 ran.
Picansort 3-1fav (9-1) Close up, effort when badly hampered over 1f out, switched right inside final furlong, ran on, unlucky, 2nd of 9, 2l behind Triple Dream (9-7) at Lingfield 5f hcp 0-70 (5) std in Dec.
Green Earth (IRE) 3-1fav (9-3) Slowly into stride, held up towards rear, headway under strong pressure and edged right over 1f out, ridden to lead 1f out, driven clear, won at Kempton 1m hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Dec beating Hecton Lad (9-6) by 1 3/4l, 10 ran.
Rio Royale (IRE) 7-1 (8-11) Tracked leader, led ovedr 1f out, soon ridden, headed final strides, 2nd of 13, nk behind Bold Ring (9-0) at Lingfield 7f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Nov.
Dvinsky (USA) 16-1 (9-6) Tracked leaders, driven and every chance well over 1f out, soon one pace, weakened close home, 4th of 11, 1 3/4l behind Sulis Minerva (9-0) at Lingfield 6f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Dec.
Vitznau (IRE) 14-1 (8-13) Behind, never a factor, 7th of 11, 6l behind Peace Seeker (9-11) at Wolverhampton 5f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Dec.
Speak The Truth (IRE) 7-2 (8-13) Mid-division, headway over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, never reached winner, 2nd of 9, 3/4l behind Efistorm (9-0) at Lingfield 6f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Dec.
Captainrisk (IRE) 7-2 (9-6) Mid-division, ridden over 3f out, weakened and eased over 1f out, last of 9, 24l behind Katy's Secret (9-6) at Yarmouth 6f hcp 0-65 (6) gf in Aug.
Efistorm 3-1 (9-11) Chased leaders, outpaced over 2f out, stayed on well inside final furlong, 5th of 8, 2 3/4l behind Cut And Thrust (9-2) at Lingfield 7f app hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Amber Heights 2-1fav (9-7) Took keen hold, tracked leaders on inside, effort 2f out, ridden over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 9, 5l behind Force To Spend (8-7) at Kempton 6f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Dec.
Glastonberry 10-3 (9-2) Chased leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened well over 1f out, 8th of 9, 9l behind Force To Spend (8-7) at Kempton 6f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Dec.
Fantasy Fighter (IRE) 13-2 (9-2) Close up, effort entering final furlong, soon every chance, no extra near finish, 4th of 10, 1 1/2l behind Catalinas Diamond (9-4) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Nov.