All seven can be given a chance in this tightly-nit claimer, so our preference for OBE GOLD ahead of Cornus and Don Pele is marginal. Our selection is officially rated 66 and that looks fair judging by his consistent efforts in similar contests of late. His last win came over this course and distance at the start of January and the form has been franked in style by the win of Whatyouwoodwishfor on Tuesday, so with conditions ideal he can defy the fact that he's not best in at the weights and land this. Cornus is the best treated if the ratings are to be believed, but for all his good runs over the years he's actually yet to win here at Southwell. Jeremy Glover's inmate does act on the Fibresand though and will surely run his usual solid race, so he can take second ahead of Don Pele. Ron Harris' eight-year-old has been showing a worrying tendency to miss the kick and that's a concern, but his fourth in a reasonable handicap last time reads well in the context of today's race and he'd have claims if building on it. Music Box Express has a bit to do here but can be a potent force when allowed to dominate over this, his ideal trip. With that in mind he's respected but you have to go back well over a year for his last win and others appear stronger. Kings Ace is a course and distance winner who could belie his odds in taking a place, so he's accordingly preferred to Bentley and Castle Myth of the remainder in what is a competitive affair. Obe Gold arrives here in good heart and can gain due reward for a string of consistent efforts.
Bentley 20-1 (8-8) Towards rear, pushed along over 4f out, stayed on final furlong, not troubled leaders, 7th of 12, 4 1/2l behind Defector (9-4) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Dec.
Castle Myth (USA) 12-1 (8-4) Held up in rear, lost action over 5f out, virtually pulled up, last of 12, well behind Thunderstruck (9-5) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Obe Gold 2-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, under pressure over 2f out, every chance over 1f out, stayed on well, 2nd of 7, 1/2l behind Interchoice Star (9-3) at Wolverhampton 6f sell stks (6) pol.
Cornus 14-1 (8-9) Close up on far side, pushed along 3f out, ridden 2f out, no extra well inside final furlong, 3rd of 6, 3l behind Monte Major (8-3) at Southwell 5f Apprentice Claiming Stakes (0-70) (4yo+) (6) fbs.
Don Pele (IRE) 15-8fav (9-2) Tracked leaders, effort over 2f out, soon one pace, 4th of 11, 1 3/4l behind Know No Fear (8-11) at Lingfield 6f app hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Kings Ace (IRE) 6-1 (8-9) Pulled hard, in touch, headway to chase winner over 1f out, driven and stayed on towards finish, 2nd of 10, 3/4l behind Madison Belle (8-6) at Southwell 7f sell stks (6) fbs.
Music Box Express 20-1 (8-9) Pressed leader, led after 1f and soon clear, reduced lead over 2f out, headed well over 1f out, weakened rapidly final furlong, 10th of 13, 9l behind Ejeed (8-10) at Kempton 7f hcp (0-55) (6) pol.