Encores, Northern Boy and Spanish Needle are the shortlisted trio in this handicap and the nomination is given to Encores. The selection was an impressive winner at Kempton last time out when he beat Emma Jean Lad. This 3-year-old is progressing nicely with his racing and from the plum draw here he should prove tough to beat. Northern Boy has twice gone close since joining the Mick Easterby yard and he wasn't beaten far over this course and distance by The City Kid last time. He has an awful draw tonight though and that means he may have to settle for the role of bridesmaid once again. Spanish Needle may be a bigger threat to the selection as she finished narrowly behind Northern Boy last time, she's lightly-raced and she has a good low draw. Ten To The Dozen has a penalty and a poor draw to overcome and looks opposable on that basis. This looks a good opportunity for Encores who can land the prize.
Encores 5-2fav (8-13) In rear, good headway 2f out, quickened to lead over 1f out, soon drew clear, comfortably, won at Kempton 7f hcp 0-65 (6) pol in Oct beating Emma Jean Lad (8-11) by 2l, 11 ran.
Regal Royale 11-1 (9-7) Chased leaders, weakened under pressure over 2f out, 10th of 11, 6l behind Quality Street (9-12) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-70 (5) pol in Jul.
Four Tel 12-1 (8-13) Prominent far side, effort over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 9th of 15, 9l behind Crocodile Bay (9-7) at Newcastle 1m hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Oct.
Northern Boy (USA) 9-4fav (9-6) Slowly into stride, held up, headway and squeezed through over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, 2nd of 10, 1l behind The City Kid (9-4) at W'hampton 7f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Oct.
Nok Twice (IRE) 25-1 (9-6) In touch, ridden over 2f out, not clear run over 1f out, switched right soon after and kept on, 2nd of 12, 1l behind Pelham Crescent (9-8) at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Oct.
Tyrannosaurus Rex (IRE) 10-1 (9-3) Prominent, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, eased inside final furlong, last of 7, 11l behind Fleuret (8-12) at Goodwood 6f mdn aut stk (5) gd in Aug.
Carlitos Spirit (IRE) 14-1 (9-3) In touch, ridden 2f out, soon badly hampered, rallied and ran on inside final furlong, not recover, 4th of 14, 3l behind Linda's Colin (9-0) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Oct.
Spanish Needle 20-1 (9-4) Always prominent, ridden well over 2f out, kept on inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 1 1/2l behind The City Kid (9-4) at W'hampton 7f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Oct.
Ten To The Dozen 4-1jt-fav (8-11) Tracked leaders, not clear run and lost place over 2f out, soon switched left, progress over 1f out, kept on to lead well inside final furlong, won at Leicester 7f clm (5) gs in Oct beating Only A Grand (8-0) by 1 1/2l, 16 ran.
Split Briefs (IRE) 9-1 (8-4) Mid-division, ridden over 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 9th of 11, 11l behind Kassuta (7-12) at Yarmouth 1m clm (6) gs in Oct.
Kensington (IRE) 16-1 (8-8) Always towards rear, 9th of 13, 15l behind Atlantic Story (9-0) at Southwell 7f hcp 0-65 (6) fbs.
Winged Farasi 8-1 (8-9) Slowly into stride, soon in touch, lost place 6f out, headway over 3f out, stayed on, 6th of 12, 4l behind Poppets Sweetlove (8-7) at Bath 1m 3yo hcp (5) gs in Oct.