MONTIBOLI is our idea of the most likely winner with Castle Myth and Sir George the most obvious dangers. Kevin Ryan has made a habit of dropping a number of his horses into claiming grade from handicaps and today looks no exception. A winner over course and distance, he seems to have as strong a case as any. Castle Myth has been in rude health of late. He has demonstrated improved form on this surface and has to be respected as a very live player. Ollie Pears always does well with his runners in claiming grade so Sir George needs a close inspection in the market. My Sweet Georgia has won at Southwell over seven furlongs though has been a tad disappointing since. Bookiebasher Babe has been desperately out of form whilst Mocha Java has a realistic chance at the weights if he actually stays the trip. Plenty of plausible cases on the formbook for many in this race but Montiboli's seems the most cogent on balance.
Bookiebasher Babe (IRE) 33-1 (9-1) Chased leaders, soon ridden along, lost place halfway, last of 11, 29l behind General Tufto (8-13) at Southwell 1m hacp 0-70 (5) fbs in Feb.
My Sweet Georgia (IRE) 15-2 (9-2) Close up, ridden and weakened 2f out, 7th of 8, 6l behind Make Amends (9-5) at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Feb.
Montiboli (IRE) 28-1 (8-6) Took keen hold, tracked leaders, ridden 3f out, soon weakened, 6th of 7, 13l behind Border Owl (8-6) at Southwell 1m app hcp 0-75 (5) fbs.
Castle Myth (USA) 13-2 (8-5) Close up, ridden 3f out, effort entering final 2f, soon chased winner, one pace final furlong, 2nd of 11, 4 1/2l behind General Tufto (8-13) at Southwell 1m hacp 0-70 (5) fbs in Feb.
Magnitude 11-2 (8-11) Raced wide in touch, ridden to chase winner over 4f out, driven to press winner over 3f out, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 5, 3/4l behind Dunaskin (8-12) at Southwell 1m 3f sell stks (6) fbs.
Sir George (IRE) 7-2 (8-7) Pulled hard, tracked leaders, went 2nd 6f out, ridden to press winner inside final furlong, unable to quicken near finish, 2nd of 8, nk behind Networker (8-6) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f clm stks (5) pol in Jan.
King Zeal (IRE) 12-1 (9-4) Hampered start, raced keenly in rear, headway over 2f out, came wide entering straight, soon one pace, 6th of 12, 2 3/4l behind Robert The Brave (8-11) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f 3yo hcp (6) pol in Oct '07.
Mocha Java 11-1 (8-11) Tracked leader, led halfway, ridden 2 lengths clear over 2f out, pressed on both sides from over 1f out, driven and headed inside final furlong, kept on, 3rd of 9, 2l behind Resplendent Nova (9-1) at Southwell 7f hcp 0-65 (6) fbs in Feb.
Rub of The Relic (IRE) 33-1 (8-7) Soon outpaced and behind, never a factor, 8th of 13, 13l behind Pendragon (9-0) at Southwell 1m hcp (0-55) (6) fbs in Feb.
Special Cuvee 6-1 (9-4) Behind, under pressure halfway, headway over 2f out, led over 1f out, headed well inside final furlong, no extra, 3rd of 10, 3/4l behind Positivity (8-11) at Southwell 1m hcp 0-60 (6) fbs in Feb.