Recent Wolverhampton winner Roland was well beaten on his only previous start at this course but Apache Rising won his handicap debut over track and trip in November and there should be more to come from him. He makes much more appeal than either Whitford or Faither but GEBAYL may prove a bigger problem. Placed in a couple of starts on the Polytrack this year, there's a strong possibility she'll take to the Fibresand given James Tate's excellent strike rate at the track and she's fancied to open her account.
Roland 5-2 (9-0) Led 1f, reminders when hanging right over 3f out, led inside final furlong, ran on, won at Wolverhampton 6f 3yo hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Jan beating Sewn Up (9-7) by 1 1/4l, 4 ran.
Krupskaya (FR) 5-1 (8-13) Led, pushed along halfway, ridden and headed over 1f out, no extra inside final furlong, 4th of 6, 6l behind Secret Symphony (8-13) at Lingfield 7f 2yo clm stks (6) pol in Dec.
Gebayl 2-1fav (9-5) Soon led, ridden well over 1f out, hung right and headed over 1f out, 3rd and one pace final furlong, 3rd of 7, 2 1/4l behind Malaysian Boleh (9-7) at Lingfield 6f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Whitford (IRE) 14-1 (9-1) Chased leaders, outpaced 2f out, never on terms, last of 5, 5l behind Pairumani Prince (9-7) at Lingfield 1m 3yo hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Jan.
Apache Rising 9-4fav (9-1) Raced wide until headway to track leader over 4f out, led entering final 2f, ridden out, won at Southwell 7f 2yo hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Nov beating Prince Rakan (9-7) by 1 1/2l, 8 ran.
Faither 5-2 (9-6) Tracked leader, ridden over 2f out, no extra inside final furlong, 4th of 5, 8l behind Taxiformissbyron (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Jan.