NINE IRON was thwarted at Beverley in his attempt to land a third race on the spin, although his presence looks to have scared off most of the meaningful opposition and Mick Channon's charge can quickly atone for that blip. Bold Assertion almost defied odds of 50/1 in a Wolverhampton maiden last month. John Best's colt was staying on again at the death and appears likely to appreciate this step up in trip. Argent Knight is another to make a handicap debut. As a half-brother to hurdler, Watered Silk, connections will be hopeful of a big run. Moaning Butcher has been bitterly disappointing and looks opposable on balance. Dark Justice is the only filly in the race and hasn't seemed the easiest of rides during her career so far.
Nine Iron (IRE) 11-10fav (9-10) In touch, headway over 2f out, ridden to press winner inside final furlong, no extra and lost 2nd post, 3rd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Ofcoursewecan (9-7) at Beverley 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Apr.
Bold Assertion 50-1 (9-5) Tracked leaders, ridden to chase winner 3f out, outpaced by winner 2f out, kept on inside final furlong when winner idled towards finish, 2nd of 7, 1l behind Strategic Strike (9-5) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f 3yo mdn auc stks (6) pol in Apr.
Argent Knight 4-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, went 2nd over 4f out, ridden to challenge over 2f out, soon every chance, no extra inside final furlong, 4th of 9, 8l behind Sillabub (8-12) at Kempton 1m 2yo mdn stks (5) pol in Dec.
Moaning Butcher 16-1 (9-3) Hampered start, in rear, ridden halfway, driven along 4f out, never a factor, last of 5, 23l behind Tebee's Oasis (9-2) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) pol in Mar.
Dark Justice (IRE) 16-1 (9-6) Mid-division, headway 3f out, ridden over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 10, 12l behind Flying Tempo (9-12) at Kempton 1m 3f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Mar.