DON PELE is given the chance to atone for a poor performance and is put forward ahead of Pocket's Pick and Valentino Swing. The selection was strongly fancied for a handicap at Southwell but was in trouble a long way from home and failed to give his running. He was hampered at the start though so there is a plausible excuse and he may be able to bounce back at a course where he has often run well. Pocket's Pick won that race at Southwell for which he has picked up a 6lb penalty. He had been held over course and distance on his two runs prior to that one but merits respect now that he's got his head in front. Valentino Swing is the other penalised runner having opened his all-weather account at Kempton but he probably has more on his plate here so could struggle to follow up. Elusive Ronnie should go close if he gets a little luck in running whilst Forest Dane is on a decent enough mark these days and has been running well of late but a chance is taken with Don Pele.
Pocket's Pick (IRE) 7-2 (9-4) Tracked leaders, ridden to lead over 1f out, hung right and ran on final furlong, won at Southwell 5f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs beating Metal Guru (9-0) by 1 1/2l, 11 ran.
Valentino Swing (IRE) 12-1 (9-0) Held up in rear, ridden and headway 2f out, led approaching final furlong, ran on, won at Kempton 6f hcp (6) pol beating Kingsgate Castle (9-4) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Trip Switch 18-1 (9-4) Behind, never on terms, last of 11, 8l behind Romantic Queen (8-8) at Wolverhampton 6f sell stks (6) pol in Sep.
Don Pele (IRE) 11-4fav (9-4) Slowly away, hampered start, behind and outpaced, never looked happy, 9th of 11, 9l behind Pocket's Pick (9-4) at Southwell 5f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs.
Diddums 40-1 (8-4) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, soon lost place, 8th of 9, 8l behind Billberry (9-1) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Nov.
Hollow Jo 8-1 (9-4) Went right start, chased leaders, ridden 2f out, kept on, not pace to challenge, 4th of 11, 4l behind Pocket's Pick (9-4) at Southwell 5f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs.
Forest Dane 10-1 (8-10) Held up in rear, headway on outside over 1f out, strong run inside final furlong, finished well, not reached leaders, 4th of 11, 1 3/4l behind Sutton Veny (9-1) at Kempton 6f hcp 0-70 (5) pol.
Handsome Cross (IRE) 8-1 (9-4) Dwelt, raced wide, mid-division, ridden and stayed on towards finish, never a factor, 5th of 9, 1 3/4l behind Triskaidekaphobia (8-4) at Lingfield 5f hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Crystal B Good (USA) 9-2 (9-4) Mid-division, ridden and lost place from over 2f out, 10th of 11, 13l behind Hatman Jack (9-0) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Aug.
Elusive Ronnie (IRE) 6-1 (8-9) Awkward at start, slowly into stride, in rear, ridden over 1f out, never nearer, 7th of 11, 3 1/2l behind Ask Jenny (9-1) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Hatman Jack (IRE) 10-1 (9-5) Held up, never dangerous, 7th of 10, 6l behind Athaakeel (9-0) at Lingfield 6f 3yo sell stks (6) pol in Oct.
Northern Empire (IRE) 20-1 (9-2) Soon pushed along in rear, never a factor, last of 13, 30l behind Mr Funshine (8-4) at Southwell 5f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs.