War Department continues to frustrate despite retaining more than enough ability to be highly competitive here in what should prove a cracking heat. The likes of the reliable Testa Rossa and lightly-raced Revolutionary War should both take a hand, while it shouldn't be too long before the Fahey operation extracts a win out of Shypen. Course and distance winner Safe Voyage makes considerable appeal in his search for a Tyneside three-timer but is now 8lb higher than when scoring here last time. But Curzon Line isn't ruled out after finishing third behind the aforementioned last time as he's notably favoured by these weights. The choice, though, is BINT ARCANO. She's still open to improvement, has experience of the surface and looked better than ever when a smooth Wolverhampton scorer last time.
Shamaheart (IRE) 9-1 (9-6) Mid-division, headway over 2f out, soon chased leaders, kept on same pace, no impression, 7th of 13, 9 1/4l behind Alexandrakollontai (8-13) at Newcastle 1m hcp (4) pol in Nov.
War Department (IRE) 6-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, never going pace to reach leaders, 7th of 13, 3l behind Intransigent (9-7) at Kempton 7f hcp (3) pol in Jan.
Safe Voyage (IRE) 11-8fav (9-3) Made all, ridden over 1f out, held on well, won at Newcastle 7f hcp (4) pol in Jan beating Lexington Times (9-7) by 1 1/2l, 6 ran.
Young John (IRE) 14-1 (9-1) Mid-division, pushed along and weakened 2f out, 11th of 13, 7 1/2l behind Intransigent (9-7) at Kempton 7f hcp (3) pol in Jan.
Shypen 7-1 (9-3) With leader, ridden inside final furlong, soon weakened, 8th of 9, 4 1/4l behind Hakam (9-8) at Chelmsford City 7f hcp (4) pol in Jan.
Testa Rossa (IRE) 5-1 (9-7) Held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 4th of 14, 2l behind Eastern Dragon (9-3) at Newcastle 1m hcp (4) pol in Jan.
Revolutionary War (USA) 5-2fav (9-7) Disputed lead until went on after 1f, ridden over 1f out, headed entering final furlong, weakened well inside final furlong, lost 4th post, 5th of 12, 3 1/4l behind Gossiping (9-0) at Kempton 1m hcp (4) pol in Jan.
Bint Arcano (FR) 3-1 (9-5) Tracked leaders on inside, 2nd going well over 1f out, led inside final furlong, pushed clear, ran on well, won at Wolverhampton 7f hcp fll (5) pol in Jan beating Arize (9-0) by 2 1/4l, 7 ran.
Like No Other 10-1 (9-7) Led, ridden over 2f out, headed over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 8th of 10, 7 1/4l behind Dutch Art Dealer (9-7) at Newcastle 7f hcp (4) pol in Jan.
Free Code (IRE) 10-1 (9-7) Chased leaders, ridden over 2f out, kept on inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 2 1/4l behind Holiday Magic (9-3) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp (4) pol in Dec.
Merdon Castle (IRE) 7-1 (9-0) Held up in rear, ridden over 1f out, never on terms, 6th of 7, 3 3/4l behind Captain Dion (9-7) at Newcastle 6f hcp (4) pol in Jan.
Curzon Line 7-2fav (9-7) With leader, led over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, no extra, 3rd of 12, 3 1/4l behind Safe Voyage (9-7) at Newcastle 7f hcp (5) pol in Jan.
Handsome Dude 20-1 (8-10) Close up, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 11, 5 1/2l behind Amazour (9-9) at Newcastle 6f hcp (3) pol in Dec.