tracked leaders, switched to centre entering final 2f, soon led, pushed out, readily
keen, in touch, ridden and headway over 1f out, soon chased winner, no impression and lost 2nd towards finish
dwelt, in rear, headway 2f out, effort entering final furlong, stayed on to go 2nd towards finish, no chance with winner
in rear, soon pushed along, never on terms
soon led, ridden and headed over 1f out, kept on same pace
tracked leaders, went 2nd 5f out until ridden over 1f out, soon weakened
led early, pressed leader 3f, tracked leaders, ridden over 1f out, faded final furlong
dwelt, soon pushed along, close up, lost place over 4f out, soon in rear
Jim Best is responsible for almost half of this nine-strong field but it’s difficult to make a strong case for any of the quartet. Cricklewood Green has had a busy few months and has only managed one place in 10 previous runs on an artificial surface but the three-year-old Torch is starting to come down the weights and could go well. HOLIDAY MAGIC (NAP) has won twice over this trip on Polytrack at Kempton and still looks to be on a fair mark despite having been raised 4lb for a recent Wolverhampton victory. Mezzotint won this last year and is only 3lb higher so looks the danger considering he’s been a model of consistency at this level in recent times.
Holiday Magic (IRE) 5-2fav (9-3) Chased leaders, went 2nd inside final furlong, ran on, led close home (hand timed), won at Wolverhampton 7f hcp (4) pol in Dec beating Ripoll (9-5) by nk, 10 ran.
Mezzotint (IRE) 16-1 (9-7) Towards rear, ridden 2f out, headway inside final furlong, nearest finish, 6th of 15, 2 3/4l behind Pearl Spectre (9-6) at Chelmsford City 7f hcp (4) pol in Nov.
Cricklewood Green (USA) 12-1 (8-13) Held up in last pair, headway on outside, edging right 2f out, ridden and kept on inside final furlong, went never nearer 4th towards finish, 4th of 12, 7l behind Presumido (9-3) at Kempton 1m hcp (4) pol in Dec.
Torch 33-1 (9-0) Always in rear, outpaced halfway, last of 11, 26 1/4l behind Forceful Appeal (9-6) at Lingfield 1m hcp (4) pol in Dec.
Greyfriarschorista 5-1 (9-4) Close up, pushed along over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 8th of 10, 12 1/4l behind Chelwood Gate (8-12) at Lingfield 7f stks (6) pol in Dec.
Bobby Benton (IRE) 16-1 (9-4) Held up in rear, ridden over 3f out, soon weakened, last of 8, 17 1/2l behind Pendo (9-6) at Chelmsford City 7f hcp (5) pol in Dec.
Officer Drivel (IRE) 14-1 (9-5) Keen, tracked leader until ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, last of 8, 21 1/2l behind Artful Rogue (9-9) at Lingfield 1m 4f hcp (5) pol in Dec.
Austin Friars 12-1 (10-9) In rear, pushed along from 4th, rallied after 3 out, chased leaders next, soon ridden, upsides when mistake last, led flat, kept on, won at Plumpton 2m hcp (5) gd in Oct beating Bolister (11-9) by 4l, 8 ran.
Jamhoori 33-1 (10-0) Held up, ridden and weakened 2f out, last of 9, 19 3/4l behind Absolute Zero (9-3) at Windsor 1m 2f hcp (5) gf in Jul.