It will be interesting to see how the market shapes up for Ed McMahon's son of Elusive City, Shearman, who looks the pick of the three newcomers ahead of Lucas Pit and Shawkantango, but he will need to be useful to get the better of the selection, HOT SPARK. Kevin Ryan's colt was well held on his debut on turf on soft ground at Ayr in August but ran much better when chasing home Never The Waiter here over six furlongs in a maiden on his only subsequent start in October and he can go one better today, with the stable in fine form. Bryan Smart has his string in good heart and his runner, Bandstand, has solid claims having found just one too good in each of his two starts so far but they have both been on the Fibresand and it remains to be seen whether he will be as effective on the Polytrack. David Barron's Fighter Boy was well beaten on his Southwell debut and looks best watched, while Richard Fahey's Aurora Lights will need to step up considerably on the form that she showed first time out and a safer option looks to be Hot Spark.
Bandstand 9-4 (9-13) Pulled hard, close up, driven to chase winner over 1f out, no impression final furlong, 2nd of 7, 2 1/4l behind Ghazwah (8-6) at Southwell 6f mdn stks (5) fbs in Jan.
Fighter Boy (IRE) 3-1 (9-3) Prominent, weakened over 1f out, 4th of 6, 6l behind Solstice (8-7) at Southwell 6f 3yo mdn stks (5) fbs in Feb.
Hot Spark 33-1 (9-3) Led, ridden and headed over 1f out, kept on same pace, no chance with winner, 2nd of 13, 3 1/2l behind Never The Waiter (9-3) at Wolverhampton 6f 2yo mdn auc stks (5) pol in Oct.
Lucas Pitt Kyllachy gelding out of Bardot.
Shawkantango Piccolo gelding out of Kitty Kitty Cancan.
Shearman (IRE) Elusive City gelding out of Champion Tipster.
Aurora Lights 20-1 (8-5) Chased leaders, hung badly right after 1f, weakened halfway, last of 9, 22l behind Clifton Bridge (9-3) at Wolverhampton 5f 2yo mdn stks (5) pol in Dec.