Blue Wave is upped further in the weights for his recent win over track and trip but is not easily dismissed. Saying that, a 6lb turn around in the weights may well be enough for runner-up KASHMIR PEAK to reverse running with the top weight and John Quinn's charge gets the nod. The latter took revenge for an earlier defeat by Magika last time and collateral form with Blue Wave leaves Echo Brava with something to find. Nautilus ended last season looking in the handicapper's grip and this is tougher than Irish raider Gretzky's recent tasks at Dundalk. Gabrial's Star, Bute Hall and Gioia Di Vita all step up in class after recent placed efforts.
Blue Wave (IRE) 9-2 (9-7) Led early, prominent, ridden to challenge over 1f out, led entering final furlong, ran on well, won at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcap (2) pol beating Kashmir Peak (9-5) by 1l, 6 ran.
Kashmir Peak (IRE) 9-2 (9-5) Held up in touch, took keen hold, closed over 3f out, challenged over 2f out, led well over 1f out, headed entering final furlong, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 6, 1l behind Blue Wave (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcap (2) pol.
Nautilus 11-4fav (9-5) Headway to track leader 9f out, ridden over 2f out, no extra inside final furlong, 5th of 7, 6l behind Modernstone (8-10) at Lingfield 1m 4f hcp (2) pol in Dec.
Bohemian Rhapsody (IRE) 25-1 (8-8) Mid-division, headway over 3f out, ridden to chase leaders over 2f out, kept on same pace, 4th of 23, 10l behind Conduct (9-2) at Doncaster 1m 4f hcp (2) sft in Nov.
Gretzky 8-11fav (9-12) Chased leaders in 3rd, improved into close 2nd 2f out, ridden to lead 1 1/2f out and soon strongly pressed, joined 1f out, headed and no extra close home, 2nd of 4, nk behind Defining Year (9-8) at Dundalk 1m 4f 4yo stk pol.
Villoresi (IRE) 11-1 (9-10) Close up, ridden over 2f out, keeping on inside final furlong when short of room, went 3rd near finish, 3rd of 14, 2 1/2l behind Border Legend (9-9) at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) gd in Oct.
Gabrial's Star 16-1 (9-4) Dwelt in rear, headway on outer 2f out, ridden to press winner inside final furlong, not quicken towards finish, 2nd of 12, shd behind Scottish Star (8-10) at Lingfield 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) pol.
Bute Hall 8-1 (8-8) Held up behind, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on to take 2nd place towards finish, 3rd of 10, 1l behind Like A Diamond (8-13) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) pol.
Magika 7-4fav (8-13) Held up in touch, ridden and effort over 2f out, switched right well over 1f out, stayed on same pace and unable to get on terms final furlong, 4th of 6, 3 1/2l behind Blue Wave (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcap (2) pol.
Echo Brava 7-4fav (9-2) Dwelt in touch in rear, ridden and headway to chase leading pair over 1f out, effort on inner to press winner inside final furlong, not quicken near finish, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Scottish Star (9-4) at Lingfield 1m 5f hcp 0-80 (4) pol.
Gioia Di Vita 11-8fav (8-10) Held up in 4th, ridden when not clear run over 1f out, soon switched left, unable to get on on terms, 4th of 5, 2 1/2l behind Mica Mika (9-6) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) pol.