Birdman had three-quarters-of-a-length to spare over Luhaif in a handicap at Lingfield last month but the runner-up is 6lb better off today and may well turn the tables. David Simcock also runs Apostle, a staying-on third at Lingfield on Saturday, but this is a course on which CHOOKIE ROYALE thrives and Keith Dalgleish's charge can get back to winning ways having just failed to overhaul the enterprisingly-ridden Grey Mirage in this grade last month. Don't Call Me has the highest official rating having been in good form in Dubai around this time last year but Dandy Nicholls' gelding hasn't raced since September and Star Links needs to improve again to get involved on these terms.
Apostle (IRE) 7-1 (9-5) Prominent, effort over 1f out, stayed on strongly closing stages, 3rd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Rebellious Guest (9-2) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-95 (3) pol.
Birdman (IRE) 25-1 (8-10) Dwelt, behind, headway over 1f out, ran on strongly to lead well inside final furlong, edged left, ridden out, won at Lingfield 1m hcap (2) pol in Jan beating Luhaif (8-11) by 3/4l, 12 ran.
Bix (IRE) 20-1 (8-3) Dwelt, soon led sole rival, ridden and headed 2f out, kept on but always held, flattered by proximity to easy winner, last of 2, 1l behind Stand Guard (9-5) at Southwell 1m 4f sell stks (6) fbs in Jan.
Chookie Royale 12-1 (9-0) In touch, joined leader halfway, led over 3f out, headed over 2f out, stayed on strongly closing stages, 2nd of 6, hd behind Grey Mirage (9-0) at Lingfield 1m cnd stks (4yo+) (2) pol in Jan.
Don't Call Me (IRE) 10-1 (9-3) Chased leaders centre, outpaced when groups merged over 2f out, soon ridden, weakened final furlong, 9th of 17, 10l behind Redvers (9-0) at Ascot 7f hcp (2) gd in Sep.
Luhaif 14-1 (8-11) Led after 1f, 3 lengthes clear at halfway, driven over 2f out, hung right under pressure inside final furlong, headed and no extra close home, 2nd of 12, 3/4l behind Birdman (8-10) at Lingfield 1m hcap (2) pol in Jan.
Star Links (USA) 3-1fav (8-12) Tracked leader, ridden to lead over 1f out, edged left inside final furlong, driven out, won at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Jan beating Silverware (8-10) by 1/2l, 9 ran.