Shaded Edge and Serena Brotherton teamed up to win this last year and should go close again whilst My Learned Friend may be able to provide a welcome boost for Laura Probert but OH SO SAUCY makes some appeal. Chris Wall has his string firing on all cylinders at present and Gina Andrews is a good booking for the mare who is without a win since 2008. In fairness, she's only had four starts since then and has now dropped back to the mark from which she was last successful whilst she has won on her seasonal return in the past. Shaded Edge is a shade higher in the weights than when winning this contest last year but it would be no surprise if this race was an early season target for the gelding and he seems sure to go close. My Learned Friend has emerged victorious from three of his five starts here so it's not hard to make a case for the gelding who was only beaten a length into fourth from a similar mark twelve months ago. Once again, this is an open race where a number of the field hold realistic claims but Oh So Saucy gets the nod.
My Learned Friend (IRE) 5-1 (8-10) Keen tracked leader, led entering final 3f, ridden and edged right over 1f out, headed and kept on inside final furlong, 2nd of 10, 1 1/2l behind Ocean Countess (8-10) at Brighton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Apr.
Alqaahir (USA) 14-1 (8-9) Tracked leaders, led over 2f out, stayed on well, won at Kempton 1m hacp 0-70 (5) pol in Apr beating Tous Les Deux (9-1) by 1 3/4l, 9 ran.
Hazzard County (USA) 13-2 (8-9) Steadied well in rear after start, never a factor after, 8th of 9, 12l behind Starluck (9-4) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Mar.
Oh So Saucy 12-1 (8-11) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 11th of 17, 9l behind Without Prejudice (9-2) at York 7f hcp 0-80 (4) gs in Sep.
Realt Na Mara (IRE) 20-1 (8-4) Led, ridden and headed over 2f out, soon weakened, last of 20, 34l behind Jordaura (8-11) at Doncaster 7f app hcp 0-85 (4) sft in Nov.
Shaded Edge 14-1 (9-1) Towards rear, hung right on bend and reminders 4f out, pushed along over 2f out, soon no impression, 5th of 10, 8l behind Divine Force (8-12) at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Jan.
Rubenstar (IRE) 3-1fav (8-11) Switched left after start, held up, headway well over 1f out, ridden to chase winner inside final furlong, edged right, no impression, 2nd of 8, 3l behind Malcheek (9-4) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Apr.
Ravi River (IRE) 10-1 (10-0) Close up, ridden 2f out, switched right 1f out, driven and stayed on near finish, 3rd of 7, 1 1/4l behind The Mumbo (9-3) at Lingfield 1m sell stks (6) pol in Mar.
Straight Face (IRE) 11-1 (10-6) Chased leaders, ridden and challenged from over 1f out, ridden to lead post, won at Salisbury 7f ldy hcp 0-65 (6) gs beating Advertise (10-0) by ns, 12 ran.
Carmenero (GER) 22-1 (9-1) Mid-division, switched right entering final furlong, kept on same pace, 6th of 13, 8l behind Tangerine Trees (9-3) at Pontefract 6f hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Apr.
Headache 7-1 (9-0) Led, headed over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 10, 6l behind Millfields Dreams (8-8) at Kempton 1m hacp 0-70 (5) pol in Apr.
El Libertador (USA) 8-1 (8-12) Prominent, lost place approaching 1f out, 8th of 10, 18l behind Arashi (8-8) at Leicester 1m 2f hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Apr.
Sam's Cross (IRE) 14-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, ridden and weakened quickly over 2f out, last of 6, 25l behind Obe Gold (9-6) at Lingfield 6f sell stks (6) pol in Dec.
Oi Vay Joe (IRE) 7-1 (9-5) Raced stands' side, chased winner, ridden to challenge 2f out, soon one pace, 4th of 12, 4 1/2l behind La Famiglia (9-0) at Yarmouth 6f hcap (6) gs in Oct '08.
Crystal B Good (USA) 33-1 (9-1) Tracked leader, lost place halfway, not a danger after, 6th of 8, 9l behind Lastkingofscotland (9-12) at Folkestone 6f sell stks (6) gf in Apr.