Cyril The Squirrel has been running well at Wolverhampton and should be thereabouts, while another good effort from recent C&D winner Ocean Of Peace is expected. Merrymadcap has shown signs of a return to form in claimers here of late and is another to consider, but the vote goes RUSTIC DEACON. Willie Musson's charge finished behind a couple of promising types in maidens over C&D in November and looks on a fair mark for his handicap debut - further improvement is likely.
Cyril The Squirrel 10-3fav (9-7) Soon tracking leader, led over 2f out, headed and edged left inside final furlong, no extra, 2nd of 9, 1 3/4l behind Join Up (8-13) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Bizarrely (IRE) 7-2fav (8-12) Took keen hold, tracked leaders, ridden over 1f out, kept on one pace, 6th of 10, 4l behind Mountrath (9-1) at Lingfield 1m app hcp 0-62 (6) pol.
Valkov 20-1 (9-4) Mid-division, pushed along and outpaced over 4f out, kept on final furlong, took 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 10, 4l behind Zafeen's Pearl (9-0) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-60 (6) pol.
Vezere (USA) 33-1 (9-2) Chased leaders, ridden 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 11th of 13, 14l behind Final Drive (9-11) at Kempton 1m hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Nov.
Fly By Nelly 13-2 (9-2) In rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on one pace final furlong, 5th of 12, 4 1/2l behind Royal Island (8-10) at Lingfield 1m app hcp 0-55 (6) pol.
Pinsplitter (USA) 14-1 (9-0) Set strong pace, ridden 2f out, headed inside final furlong, rallied near finish, 2nd of 5, nk behind Orchard Supreme (9-7) at Lingfield 1m 2f sell stks (6) pol.
Rustic Deacon 25-1 (9-3) Never better than mid-division, 6th of 11, 12l behind Albertus Pictor (9-3) at Lingfield 1m 2f 3yo mdn stks (5) pol in Nov.
Capacity (IRE) 20-1 (8-8) Tracked leaders, 5th halfway, 3rd and ridden entering straight, kept on same pace, 4th of 13, 8l behind Hawa Bali (9-5) at Dundalk 1m 3f 3yo hcp 47-75 pol.
Home 33-1 (9-4) Held up in rear, headway over 1f out, soon chasing leaders, every chance entering final furlong, kept on same pace, 5th of 9, 2 1/4l behind Noah Jameel (9-3) at Brighton 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) gd in Sep.
Ocean Of Peace (FR) 7-1 (8-12) Travelled well in mid-division, switched right and headway over 1f out, soon ridden, edged left and ran on to lead near finish, readily, won at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp 0-52 (6) pol beating Pab Special (9-0) by 1 1/4l, 12 ran.
Play Up Pompey 50-1 (8-4) Slowly into stride, always in rear, well beaten over 3f out, 10th of 11, 45l behind One Oi (8-12) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-65 (6) pol.
Cactus King 14-1 (9-2) Mid-division, ridden and weakened entering final 2f, 11th of 13, 11l behind Nacho Libre (9-0) at Kempton 7f hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Nov.
Merrymadcap (IRE) 11-1 (8-5) Raced wide early, tracked leader 7f out, led 3f out, ridden 2f out, headed and no extra inside final furlong, 5th of 12, 5l behind Edgeworth (8-7) at Lingfield 1m 2f clm stks (6) pol.
Fastinthestraight (IRE) 7-1 (8-12) Dwelt, in rear, ridden over 2f out, never near leaders, 6th of 10, 10l behind Indian Violet (9-0) at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp 0-52 (6) pol.