Shane Broderick's FANDANGO BOY disappointed over hurdles at Naas in October but has shown much improved form back on the flat in recent starts on the level, winning his last two starts, and he can complete a hat-trick with the main dangers rated as Bawaardi and Ansells Pride. Bryan Smart's gelding showed improved form having been dropped in the handicap when a close third here behind Spinning last month and he has to be respected racing off a 1lb lower mark today. Alqaahir has been in good form but disappointed when behind Ansells Pride last time and now looks best watched with a bigger danger likely to come from African Cheetah. Reg Hollinshead's colt has run below par in his last two starts but they have both been on turf and he has to be considered on earlier form on his first start on the Polytrack. Richard Fahey's Bawaardi is less exposed than most of these after just four career starts and he has claims on his first start on the surface but Fandango Boy has been in good form and can win again.
Fandango Boy 10-3fav (10-0) Tracked leaders, squeezed between horses to challenge and lead 1f out, clear and stayed on well inside final furlong, won at Dundalk 7f hcp 47-65 pol in Nov beating Diamond Fire (8-11) by 2 1/2l, 14 ran.
Alqaahir (USA) 5-1 (8-11) In rear, headway to track leaders over 2f out, ridden, weakened 1f out, 8th of 10, 12l behind Spinning (9-6) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Nov.
African Cheetah 13-2 (9-1) Tracked leaders, led over 4f out, ridden and headed well over 1f out, one pace, 6th of 14, 9l behind Bollin Dolly (8-13) at Pontefract 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Oct.
Bawaardi (IRE) 16-1 (8-6) Held up, headway over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 6th of 12, 2 1/4l behind The Kyllachy Kid (9-4) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Nov.
Ansells Pride (IRE) 25-1 (8-7) Tracked leaders, ridden, slightly outpaced approaching final 2f, stayed on to take 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 10, 6l behind Spinning (9-6) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Nov.
Secret Hero 7-1 (9-3) Soon tracking leaders, not much room and squeezed through 1f out, soon driven and no extra well inside final furlong, 6th of 12, 3 1/2l behind Miss Sophisticat (9-2) at Windsor 1m hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Oct.
Hyde Lea Flyer 8-1 (9-4) Held up mid-division, kept on final furlong, 5th of 13, 3l behind Alqaahir (9-0) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Oct.