Grandest landed the odds at Southwell in December and makes his handicap debut on his comeback. Outback Traveller bids for a hat-trick off a 5lb higher mark having recorded a double over 6f here last year. Neither of the above are easily overlooked but GLORIOUS EMPIRE is just preferred. Ed Walker's charge made a winning start at Kempton in November and the form looks rock-solid with both placed horses winning since and fifth-placed Like A Prayer subsequently landing a double. Others to note in an open contest include previous 6f winners Black Caesar and Rizal Park.
Grandest 4-9fav (9-5) Tracked leaders, led on bit over 2f out, driven clear final furlong, ran on well, won at Southwell 7f 2yo mdn stks (5) fbs in Dec beating Jalingo (9-5) by 4l, 10 ran.
Black Caesar (IRE) 4-1fav (9-6) Tracked leader, led over 2f out, ridden and headed entering final furlong, kept on one pace, 4th of 12, 5l behind Kenny The Captain (9-5) at Doncaster 6f 2yo hcp 0-85 (4) sft in Nov.
Outback Traveller (IRE) 5-4fav (8-11) Tracked leader, ridden to lead over 1f out, driven out, won at Lingfield 6f 2yo hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Oct beating Pound Piece (8-6) by 3/4l, 9 ran.
Rizal Park (IRE) 12-1 (8-12) Held up mid-division, ridden over 1f out, one pace, 7th of 11, 6l behind Art Official (9-5) at Goodwood 7f 2yo hcp (2) gd in Aug.
Glorious Empire (IRE) 11-4fav (9-5) Tracked leaders, headway over 2f out, ridden entering final furlong, led towards finish, kept on well, won at Kempton 6f 2yo mdn stks (5) pol in Nov beating Nova Champ (9-5) by 1 1/2l, 11 ran.
Basil Berry 10-1 (9-2) Tracked leaders on inside, headway on inside disputing 2nd 2f out, ridden over 1f out, stayed on under pressure inside final furlong, never going pace to challenge, 3rd of 6, 2l behind Crowdmania (9-4) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Mar.
Ice Slice (IRE) 3-1fav (9-7) Dwelt, soon close up, ridden over 1f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, no impression towards finish, 2nd of 9, 1 1/2l behind Baytown Kestrel (9-7) at Lingfield 5f 2yo hco 0-75 (5) pol in Sep.
Dovil's Duel (IRE) 66-1 (8-8) Took keen hold, led 1f, prominent, not clear run over 2f out, stayed on same pace from over 1f out, 4th of 7, 3 1/2l behind Passing Star (9-5) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Mar.