Basle arrives in fine form and given she only does just enough to win, should make a bold bid for her hat-trick. However, KAI's recent two length defeat of Bitaphon over C&D was more impressive and Alan McCabe's charge is taken to defy a penalty and follow-up. Better was expected from Ioannou on his handicap debut as he'd won his maiden here in good style and that form gives him the beating of Dhhamaan and Kielty's Folly. George Fenton has struggled since landing a double in the Autumn but Ensnare has a chance if forgiven his latest below par effort.
Basle 11-4fav (9-3) Tracked leaders, ridden and headway over 1f out, led inside final furlong, held on under pressure when hard pressed final 75 yards, won at Wolverhampton 7f sll hcp 0-60 (6) pol beating Marshall Art (9-4) by nk, 7 ran.
Ioannou 4-1 (9-2) Held up in rear, headway on inside over 1f out, soon chasing leaders, kept on same pace, 5th of 9, 3 1/2l behind Bassett Road (9-7) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Kai 10-3fav (9-0) Went left start, led, headed over 5f out, chased leaders, challenged over 1f out, led inside final furlong, kept on well towards finish, won at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-60 (6) pol beating Bitaphon (9-4) by 2l, 10 ran.
George Fenton 6-1 (9-1) In touch on inside, pushed along over 2f out, stayed on same pace approaching final furlong, 5th of 9, 4l behind Captain Kendall (9-3) at Kempton 6f hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Daunt (IRE) 16-1 (8-9) Tracked leaders on stands side rail, outpaced over 2f out, soon behind, last of 7, 18l behind Iffraam (9-5) at Newcastle 7f 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) gd in Sep.
Ensnare 7-1 (9-6) Badly upset in stalls, soon detached, never in race, tailed off, last of 13, 37l behind Bahri Sheen (9-5) at Kempton 1m hcp (6) pol in Dec.
Brown Volcano (IRE) 50-1 (9-2) Slowly into stride, behind, driven over 2f out, chased leaders under pressure over 1f out, kept on same pace, never on terms, 5th of 6, 5l behind Miss Bunter (9-2) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp 0-68 (6) pol.
Dhhamaan (IRE) 2-1fav (9-8) Led over 6f out, ridden and headed 1f out, weakened well inside final furlong, 5th of 9, 4 1/2l behind Coastal Passage (9-5) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-52 (6) pol.
Kielty's Folly 9-2 (9-6) Tracked leading trio, went 3rd on inside going well over 2f out, switched right over 1f out, ridden and chased winner inside final furlong, edged left and stayed on towards finish, always held, 2nd of 9, nk behind Coastal Passage (9-5) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-52 (6) pol.