A very difficult race to call with so many last-time winners and handicap debutants and we will side with one of those in TOWBAAT to get the better of Quick Reaction and Azlak. The last named shot up the ratings after winning a moderate Lingfield maiden, but then followed up with a resolute Wolverhampton win last time. A further 4lb increase asks more of Saeed Manana's colt, but he is far from out of this. Quick Reaction showed that he has wintered well when breaking his maiden at Epsom, and he is now stepped up in trip. The ground will suit tonight and he should go well, although the assessor didn't get carried away with his performance. Hayzoom is another with claims after a nice Chepstow win over this trip, and that earned him a mark of 80 for this, his first handicap, while John Best's Agent Archie is seeking a hat-trick tonight and his 4lb rise for winning at Yarmouth looks entirely fair. The champ rides Spoken, who landed a Salisbury maiden in September, although proved to be a slightly disappointing favourite at that same track last time and has a bit to prove. We've mentioned plenty, but in a wide open race we may still not have named the winner, and Towbaat has to be a tentative choice.
Signor Verdi 7-1 (8-4) Slowly into stride, behind when badly hampered over 4f out, outpaced over 2f out, never dangerous, 10th of 12, 12l behind Yaa Wayl (8-8) at Chester 1m 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gs.
Hayzoom 8-1 (8-12) Mid-division, reminders 6f out, driven and outpaced 4f out, ridden and headway when not much room 2f out, switched outside and stayed on strongly from over 1f out, led final 75 yards, ran on, won at Chepstow 1m 2f mdn stks (5) gd beating Bay Willow (8-12) by 3/4l, 14 ran.
Towbaat 5-4fav (8-12) Tracked leader, pushed along well over 2f out, challenged 2f out, hard ridden to lead over 1f out, stayed on well and in command inside final furlong, won at Kempton 1m mdn stks (5) pol in Apr beating Mavalenta (8-12) by 2l, 12 ran.
Life And Soul (IRE) 10-3 (9-0) Dwelt, soon tracked leaders, went 2nd halfway, challenged 2f out, soon led, ridden entering final furlong, stayed on well, won at Lingfield 1m 2f 3yo stks 0-75 (5) pol beating Opera Gal (9-0) by 1 1/4l, 5 ran.
Spoken 5-2fav (9-3) In touch, effort on outside 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 11, 6l behind Spanish Duke (9-7) at Salisbury 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) gs.
Agent Archie (USA) 16-1 (8-13) Keen, led 1f, tracked leader, hung right and led over 2f out, ridden and joined inside final furlong, held on well, won at Yarmouth 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Apr beating Ice Diva (8-12) by shd, 10 ran.
Missionaire (USA) 7-2fav (9-4) Behind, headway on outside over 2f out, ridden and effort over 1f out, stayed on same pace final furlong, no impression, 4th of 11, 4 1/2l behind Agony And Ecstasy (9-3) at Chepstow 1m 3yo hcp 0-80 (4) gd.
Azlak (USA) 9-2 (9-1) Tracked leaders on inside, led over 1f out,ridden and hung right inside final furlong, held on near finish, won at Wolverhampton 1m 1f 3yo hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Apr beating Green Earth (9-1) by nk, 9 ran.
Quick Reaction 5-2 (8-11) Tracked leader, ridden to lead 1f out, ran on, readily, won at Epsom Downs 1m 3yo & 4yo mdn (5) gd in Apr beating Tesslam (8-11) by 1 3/4l, 6 ran.
Midfielder (USA) 11-4fav (8-11) Mid-division, headway over 1f out, never nearer, 4th of 9, 5l behind Huygens (9-3) at Kempton 1m 3yo hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Mar.
Tiger Star 9-2 (9-3) Mid-divsion, took keen hold, headway 5f out, ridden and edged left 2f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 4th of 11, 2 1/2l behind Flying Destination (9-3) at Nottingham 1m 2f 3yo mdn aut (6) gf in Apr.
Sheila Toss (IRE) 28-1 (8-9) Tracked leaders, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace, 4th of 9, 7l behind Contredanse (9-7) at Salisbury 1m 2f 3yo fll hcp 0-85 (4) gf.
Perfect Vision 12-1 (8-8) Tracked leaders, ridden to go 2nd over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong to lead close home, won at Kempton 1m 2yo mdn fll aut (4) std in Oct beating Anaya (8-8) by 1/2l, 12 ran.