Loyalty won this in 2015 but disappointed at Chelmsford last time when behind fourth-placed Ice Royal. The latter has subsequently been placed at Wolverhampton but was behind runner-up BYRES ROAD. Mark Johnston’s charge has been busy but has run well in a higher grade since then and may prove good enough back at this level. Chevallier keeps threatening to score without actually doing so while Franco's Secret has gone back up the weights for a recent second at Kempton.
Chevallier 9-4 (9-10) Led and set steady pace, ridden and headed 1f out, lost 2nd final 150 yards, no extra, 3rd of 7, 2 1/4l behind Testa Rossa (8-13) at Newcastle 1m hcp (4) pol in Jan.
Loyalty 7-2jfav (9-7) Led, headed over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 8, 5 1/2l behind Jimenez (9-1) at Chelmsford City 1m hcp (4) pol in Jan.
Franco's Secret 10-1 (8-13) Dwelt, held up towards rear, headway on inside over 2f out, ridden and went 2nd 1f out, strong challenge near finish, always just held, 2nd of 12, 1/2l behind Presumido (9-3) at Kempton 1m hcp (4) pol in Dec.
Byres Road 3-1fav (8-8) Tracked leader, led 5f out, ridden 2f out, headed inside final furlong, no extra and lost 2 places, 4th of 9, 2l behind Mythical Madness (9-11) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp (3) pol in Jan.
Dutiful Son (IRE) 10-1 (9-5) Steadied and switched right start, held up towards rear, headway chasing leaders over 2f out, ridden well over 1f out, soon unable to quicken, weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 12, 9 3/4l behind Presumido (9-3) at Kempton 1m hcp (4) pol in Dec.
Mezzotint (IRE) 12-1 (9-0) Close up, ridden over 2f out, short of room over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 12th of 13, 8 1/4l behind Make Music (9-2) at Lingfield 7f hcp (4) pol in Jan.
Best Example (USA) 25-1 (9-4) Behind, chased leaders over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace, no impression, 6th of 10, 4l behind Van Huysen (9-4) at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp (4) pol in Dec.
Ice Royal (IRE) 5-1 (9-10) Mid-division, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on towards finish, 3rd of 8, nk behind Sands Chorus (9-3) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp (4) pol in Jan.