GRUDGE looks to have a decent chance of getting back to winning ways here and gets the vote ahead of Cornus, Guto and Tartatatufata. The selection is not easy to win with, but Ollie Pears has had him in good form this winter, and he was last seen winning in a Wolverhampton handicap over this trip from a mark of 62. He was not far away in this grade when the going was on the slow side here in December and is treated quite favourably at the weights so we will give him the nod. Cornus has not scored since a fast ground Thirsk success in April and Jeremy Glover drops him back to 5f for the first time in well over two years. Whether he will have the speed is debatable, though this should be easier than some of the handicaps he has contested. Guto has the ability to make a bold showing. He has won a handicap from higher than today's mark and acts well over course and distance, so he looks a major player. James Given's Tartatartufata has a bit to find with the selection on their running here last month and doesn't win too often, but a repeat effort should see her make the frame again. Bo McGinty is another who has not seen much of the winner's enclosure of late, but he does have the ability to get involved from today's pitch, although preference is for Grudge.
Guto 28-1 (8-11) Chased leader to over 2f out, ridden and weakened well over 1f out, 10th of 11, 14l behind Tourist (9-4) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Nov.
Cornus 22-1 (8-11) Slowly into stride, headway to mid-division over 4f out, ridden halfway, weakened over 1f out, 7th of 10, 6l behind Ponting (8-5) at Southwell 6f clm stks (6) fbs in Dec.
Grudge 8-1 (8-8) Led, soon hung left, ridden and headed 1f out, not quicken inside final furlong, 2nd of 9, 1l behind Total Impact (8-9) at Southwell 5f clm stks (6) fbs in Dec.
Tartatartufata 15-2 (8-9) Slowly into stride, soon chasing leaders, ridden to challenge over 1f out, soon every chance, hung left and no extra, 5th of 8, 4l behind Where's Reiley (8-9) at Southwell 5f sell stks (6) fbs.
Bo McGinty (IRE) 5-2fav (9-0) Tracked leaders, under pressure halfway, soon one pace, 4th of 8, 2 3/4l behind Where's Reiley (8-9) at Southwell 5f sell stks (6) fbs.
Edin Burgher (FR) 12-1 (9-0) Disputed lead to over 2f out, soon edged left and weakened, 9th of 10, 4l behind Mr Chocolate Drop (9-6) at Kempton 7f stks (7) pol in Feb '08.
Ingleby Star (IRE) 40-1 (8-6) Chased leaders, ridden 2f out, no impression, 6th of 14, 4 1/2l behind Nickel Silver (9-3) at Southwell 5f hcp 0-85 (4) fbs in Dec.
Monte Major (IRE) 33-1 (8-7) Chased leaders, headway over 1f out, stayed on strongly final furlong, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 1 3/4l behind Where's Reiley (8-9) at Southwell 5f sell stks (6) fbs.
Where's Reiley (USA) 15-2 (8-9) Slowly into stride, behind and outpaced, headway halfway, led approaching final furlong, edged right, ran on well, won at Southwell 5f sell stks (6) fbs beating Monte Major (8-7) by 1 3/4l, 8 ran.