Fenjal’s improved form has coincided with racing on the Fibresand surface at Southwell and he was well beaten over track and trip before that. Peters Pudding went close over a mile here recently but HERMOCRATES is less exposed and, after going close at Kempton on his handicap debut, Richard Hannon’s colt gets the nod to open his account. Both Lethal Guest and Vin D'honneur finished closer on their respective latest starts while Navadir may improve now handicapping for the first time.
Fenjal (IRE) 13-8fav (9-5) Tracked winner, ridden and clear with winner from 2f out, driven and stayed on one pace final furlong, 2nd of 10, 3/4l behind Whenapoet (9-5) at Southwell 1m (6) pol in Dec.
Lethal Guest 7-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, pushed along over 3f out, stayed on same pace from over 1f out, 4th of 6, 3l behind Battle Of Wills (9-7) at Newcastle 1m (5) pol in Dec.
Navadir (JPN) 50-1 (9-0) Mid-division, ridden over 1f out, stayed on into 3rd inside final furlong, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 12, 12l behind Divine Image (9-0) at Chelmsford City 1m fll stks (4) pol in Dec.
Hermocrates (FR) 6-1 (9-5) Led 1f, tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, led again inside final furlong, kept on, headed final strides, 2nd of 13, 1/2l behind Debbonair (9-7) at Kempton 1m (6) pol in Dec.
Peters Pudding (IRE) 9-2 (8-9) Tracked leader, led over 4f out, hard ridden over 1f out, headed well inside final furlong, no extra, 3rd of 9, 1/4l behind Anycity (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f stks (5) pol in Dec.
Tails I Win (CAN) 66-1 (8-11) Tracked leaders, went 2nd over 5f out until over 2f out, lost place over 1f out, 7th of 10, 8 1/2l behind Almashriq (9-2) at Newcastle 7f stks (5) pol in Dec.
Vin D'Honneur (IRE) 8-1 (9-3) Held up towards rear, pushed along over 2f out, headway towards far side of group inside final 2f, edged left and kept on into modest 4th close home, 4th of 11, 4l behind Melgate Majeure (9-0) at Newcastle 1m (6) pol in Nov.
George Hastings 11-1 (8-11) In rear, ridden 3f out, some late headway, 7th of 13, at Southwell 1m (6) pol in Dec.
Margaret J 14-1 (8-7) Raced wide, held up, ridden and headway over 1f out, never nearer, 6th of 13, at Southwell 1m (6) pol in Dec.
Adamantly (IRE) 50-1 (8-11) Always in rear, 10th of 11, 12 1/2l behind Top Rank (9-2) at Lingfield 1m stks (5) pol in Dec.