A good race and FINAL VERSE is the pick with Iron Out and Mafeking others to make the cut. Matty Salaman's gelding was campaigned in decent company on the flat during the summer and the handler has been wise to take advantage of a significantly lower mark on the artificial surfaces. The eyeshields have helped to some degree but at his best, he should be able to convincingly defy a 6lb rise for his recent success. Iron Out has been a credit to connections and is still improving. Life will be tougher after reassessment. Mafeking broke a blood vessel at Kempton two runs ago but he was back to something like his best six days later. He gets on well with Chris Catlin. Traphalgar is a regular in plating grade these days and today will be his first run for David Evans. Suzi Spends has ability though is not without quirks. She is perfectly capable of winning a race of this value if consenting to work with rather than against her pilot. Prince Picasso looks booked for the pacemaking duties though as a raider from Richard Fahey's yard, it would be folly to dismiss him as a makeweight. Sharpazmax has had relatively few runs for his age. There was money around for him at Kempton on his latest start and it would be interesting to see if there was a similar confidence here. Confidentiality represents a shrewd yard and having dropped a couple of pounds down the weights, a cursory glance of the market is advised. Final Verse is the pick.
Mafeking (UAE) 10-1 (9-5) Led, ridden over 1f out, headed close home, 2nd of 13, hd behind Poyle Meg (8-13) at Kempton 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) pol.
Suzi Spends (IRE) 12-1 (9-4) Held up towards rear, weakened entering final furlong, 10th of 12, 9l behind Tinshu (8-10) at Kempton 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Nov.
Final Verse 15-2 (9-4) Mid-division, headway 2f out, chased leader 1f out, ridden and flashed tail inside final furlong, led final strides, won at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Nov beating Tiddliwinks (8-13) by nk, 12 ran.
Confidentiality (IRE) 20-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, 7th halfway, ridden straight, kept on inside final furlong, 5th of 12, 3l behind Lord Kenmare (9-9) at Dundalk 1m Apprentice Handicap (50-80) (3yo+) pol in Nov.
Iron Out (USA) 11-4 (10-12) Chased leaders, led over 2f out, soon hard ridden, kept on well, won at Wolverhampton 1m 1f Amateur Handicap (0-75) (3yo+) (5) pol beating Bavarica (10-3) by nk, 9 ran.
Cry Alot Boy 8-1 (9-4) Slowly away, rapid headway on outer to lead over 6f out, ridden 2f out, headed just inside final furlong, no extra, 6th of 7, 2 1/4l behind Black N Brew (8-10) at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) pol.
Traphalgar (IRE) 5-2 (9-8) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 2f out, ridden to press winner well inside final furlong, edged left towards finish, stayed on but always held by winner, 2nd of 8, hd behind Full Toss (9-5) at Lingfield 1m 2f clm stks (6) pol.
Sharpazmax (IRE) 6-1 (9-6) Held up, headway over 2f out, ridden entering final furlong, stayed on to take 2nd towards finish, 2nd of 8, 2 3/4l behind Uncle Fred (9-8) at Kempton 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) std in Oct.
Prince Picasso 11-2 (8-8) Led, headed 7f out, outpaced over 4f out, driven and rallied over 1f out, kept on, 3rd of 6, 8l behind Lucky Punt (8-9) at Southwell 1m 3f hcp 0-95 (3) fbs.
Awatuki (IRE) 10-1 (9-4) Tracked leaders, chased leader 4f out, led 3f out, ridden and headed 2f out, weakened final furlong, 5th of 8, 9l behind Full Toss (9-5) at Lingfield 1m 2f clm stks (6) pol.
Hallingdal (UAE) 25-1 (9-1) Held up towards rear, effort over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 8th of 10, 15l behind Mildoura (9-8) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp 0-80 (4) std in Nov.