Squirtle, Our Nations, Merrion Tiger, and Vanquisher catch the eye here with SQUIRTLE taken to bounce back to winning form. Vanquisher has yet to win in eight attempts on the all-weather and although he was a close second last time, the handicapper has raised him 3lbs which may be prohibitive. After some dismal efforts, Our Nations ran a blinder to be a close second last time, but once again the weights here appear to do him no favours. Merrion Tiger stepped up on previous efforts when losing his maiden tag last time, but he has to run over half a mile further here, and he may go off a false price. Squirtle is a consistent type, although he ran a rare bad race last time. However, he was a close second on his previous start, over this course and distance, and running off a pound lower mark, Squirtle can spring a surprise in the opener.
Tampa Boy (IRE) 25-1 (9-7) Towards rear, effort over 4f, some late headway, never troubled leaders, 4th of 9, 15l behind El Diego (9-7) at Southwell 1m 4f mdn stk (5) fbs.
Winged Arrow (IRE) 4-1 (9-8) Prominent early, soon chased leaders, 3rd halfway, ridden and weakened over 4f out, tailed off, 10th of 11, well behind Noubian (9-5) at Limerick 1m 3f hcp 0-70 hvy in Oct.
Squirtle (IRE) 9-1 (8-8) Held up rear, hung right and driven from over 2f out, plugged on, 5th of 9, 7l behind Zuwaar (9-2) at Kempton 2m hcp 0-70 (5) pol.
Our Nations 50-1 (9-3) Prominent, driven over 2f, hung left over 1f, stayed on final furlong, 2nd of 9, 3/4l behind El Diego (9-7) at Southwell 1m 4f mdn stk (5) fbs.
Market Watcher (USA) 12-1 (9-2) Held up towards rear, headway over 5f out, ridden over 1f out, edged left inside final furlong, one pace, 4th of 12, 4 1/2l behind Laurel Creek (9-5) at W'hampton 2m 1f hcp 0-65 (6) pol in Nov.
Dasher Reilly (USA) 125-1 (9-7) Towards rear, chased along and headway over 5f, weakened over 2f out, 8th of 12, 22l behind Sea Cliff (9-2) at Southwell 2m hcp 0-60 (6) fbs.
Vanquisher (IRE) 7-2jt-fav (8-12) In touch, ridden over 2f out, led 2f out, headed close home, 2nd of 11, 1/2l behind Lytham (8-12) at Kempton 1m 3f hcp 0-50 (6) pol.
Archimboldo (USA) 14-1 (8-12) Started slowly and behind, headway over 6f out, not much room over 3f out, never troubled leaders, 7th of 12, 21l behind Sea Cliff (9-2) at Southwell 2m hcp 0-60 (6) fbs.
Michaels Dream (IRE) 17-2 (8-9) Led, headed 3f out, soon outpaced, last of 8, 16l behind Gallileo Figaro (9-11) at Beverley 2m hcp 0-70 (5) hvy in Jul '07.
Auction Belle 66-1 (8-7) Chased leaders, lost place halfway, 7th of 9, 39l behind Onemoreandstay (8-12) at Southwell 1m 3f mdn stk (5) fbs.
Merrion Tiger (IRE) 8-1 (9-0) Prominent, led over 4f, clear 2f out, ridden out final furlong, won at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) fbs beating Gayanula (8-8) by 3 1/2l, 14 ran.