A poor end to a good card that can go to MEHENDI ahead of Tilos Gem, Eseej and Woody Waller. Our preference for Brian Ellison's runner is only marginal as he was beaten out of sight last time, however we do expect better now he's returned to what looks his optimum trip. There's no doubt our gelding isn't quite as good on turf as he is on artificial surfaces on what we've seen but he's only had 12 starts, has won one of them, and the difference in his effectiveness is reflected in his respective ratings. Under a decent claimer and in a race with more questions than answers, he's the one we just sided with. Tilos Gem is 6lbs below his latest winning mark and despite the fact that came over a mile he does appear to stay this far. In 13 career starts he's been placed more often than not and that consistency should be rewarded with another place on the podium here. Eseej has only once been placed on the turf compared to 10 times on the all-weather and yet his marks are almost identical, so with that hard to justify he's taken on along with Woody Waller who was pulled up over hurdles when last seen and may be using this as a precursor to a summer jumping campaign. King Fingal has won here off a higher mark but he'd be of more interest over shorter trips, Sgt Schultz is exposed and winless in 25 starts on turf whilst Maybe I Wont may just fail for stamina at this track. Night Cruise needs a market check on his first run for three years, especially as Ian Williams can land a tilt and had a winner at Aintree last week, but our preference remains for Mehendi.
Night Cruise (IRE) 2-1fav (9-6) Took keen hold, in touch, good headway to track leader inside final 3f, ridden over 2f out, soon beaten, 5th of 10, 10l behind Newnham (8-6) at Kempton 2m hcap (4) pol in Mar '07.
Eseej (USA) 15-2 (9-6) Led and soon clear, came back to field, over 4f out, ridden and headed over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 4th of 7, 10l behind Hawridge Star (8-10) at Folkestone 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) hvy.
King Fingal (IRE) 8-1 (8-13) Mid-division, ridden and weakened 3f out, 14th of 18, 23l behind Trip The Light (9-5) at York 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) gd in Oct.
Sgt Schultz (IRE) 20-1 (9-3) In rear, never in contention, 7th of 9, 38l behind Dirar (8-11) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-100 (2) pol in Dec.
Tilos Gem (IRE) 3-1 (9-4) Tracked leader until over 2f out, soon weakened, 6th of 8, 9l behind Daaweitza (9-2) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs in Mar.
Woody Waller 6-1 (9-0) Held up in touch, weakened over 1f out, 11th of 14, 25l behind Ecole D'art (8-13) at Ayr 2m 1f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Sep.
Maybe I Wont 14-1 (8-6) Chased leaders, ridden 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 9th of 11, 7l behind Jawaab (9-8) at Warwick 1m 3f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Aug.
Mehendi (IRE) 9-1 (9-3) Switched left start, held up and always in rear, 12th of 16, well behind Sendali (8-12) at Redcar 2m hcp 0-65 (6) sft.