CORAL CREEK can land this prize for the Irish by getting the better of Kings Topic and Strike Force amongst others. Michael Grassick has won with two of his five runners at the track and the booking of leading apprentice William Buick suggests that a big run is expected. The selection gained a narrow success over course and distance in November from a higher mark and looks poised to run a big race. Kings Topic and Strike Force both come into the race in top form and are closely matched on their running at Great Leighs which saw the former run out a three quarter of a length winner. The consistent Myfrenchconnection made a decent fist of his all-weather debut at Kempton and enters calculations on that form. Thunderstruck was running on strongly over a mile at Haydock and could feature on his all-weather bow whilst Mischief Lady was also doing plenty of good work in the closing stages at Great Leighs and could also be a player. Plenty in with chances here but we'll go along with Coral Creek.
Kings Topic (USA) 5-1 (10-0) Chased leader over 6f out, led over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, edged right and kept on final furlong, won at Great Leighs 1m 2f app hcp (6) pol in Aug beating Strike Force (9-9) by 3/4l, 13 ran.
Strike Force 15-2 (9-1) Held up, headway over 2f out, ran on to lead close home, won at W'hampton 1m 1f hcap (6) pol in Sept beating My Mirasol (9-4) by 1l, 13 ran.
Our Kes (IRE) 50-1 (9-5) In touch, ridden over 3f out, soon weakened, last of 13, 16l behind Mixing (8-5) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Sept.
Myfrenchconnection (IRE) 5-1 (9-5) Held up in mid-division, headway from 2f out, to lead over 1f out, headed and outpaced by winner final 75 yards, 2nd of 13, 2l behind Grey Boy (9-3) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-65 (6) pol in Sept.
Ahlawy (IRE) 10-1 (8-11) Held up in rear, headway on inside when not much room over 2f out, wandered under pressure inside final furlong, ran on well, gaining near finish, 3rd of 12, nk behind New Star (9-6) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Coral Creek (IRE) 13-2 (9-7) Chased leaders, headway to 2nd 1 1/2f out, led over 1f out, kept on well final furlong, pressed close home, won at Down Royal 7f hcp 45-70 gs in Aug beating Lilly Lavender (8-6) by 1/2l, 14 ran.
Thunderstruck 40-1 (8-8) Towards rear, not clear run over 1f out, switched outside and stayed on well final furlong, nearest finish, 4th of 13, 2 1/2l behind Just Bond (9-8) at Haydock 1m hcp 0-80 (4) gf in Sept.
Spanish Diva 8-1 (8-6) Slowly into stride, ridden and stayed on well from over 1f out, 4th of 13, 5l behind St Trinians (9-8) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Portrush Storm 28-1 (8-9) In rear, driven 4f out, tailed off when eased final furlong, last of 11, well behind She's Our Lass (9-6) at Beverley 1m 2f hcap (4) hvy in Sept.
Claret And Amber 10-1 (8-10) Mid-division, ridden 2f out, kept on to take 2nd line, 2nd of 13, 4 1/2l behind St Trinians (9-8) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Mischief Lady 12-1 (9-0) In rear, ridden 3f out, kept on final furlong, never nearer, 7th of 14, 3l behind Jollyhockeysticks (8-12) at Great Leighs 1m 3yo hcp (5) pol in Sept.
Mick's Dancer 14-1 (8-12) Held up, ridden and headway over 1f out, stayed on to take 2nd towards finish, 2nd of 14, 3/4l behind Zeffirelli (8-12) at Yarmouth 7f 3yo sll (6) gd in Sept.
King's Icon (IRE) 33-1 (8-3) Held up in rear, ridden over 2f, stayed on final furlong but never reached challenging position, 4th of 10, 9l behind Shaloo Diamond (9-0) at Beverley 1m 3yo hcp (5) sft in Sept.