A trappy contest here where there are stamina doubts about a number of the field and SOUNDBYTE is equipped pretty well on that score and is taken to win from Rawdon. The selection has shown plenty of improvement since last summer and showed an aptitude for fast ground and a trip at Musselburgh last time. There is no doubt he stays this far and there looks to be a little more for his trainer to work on so we'll side with him. Gay Kelleway's Rawdon was not far away over 1m 4f at Southwell last time and is proven over 13f, so with fast ground not an issue for him, he has as good a chance as any of getting home in the money. Aegean Prince is tried over this far for the first time, but pedigree suggests he might struggle to add to his Lingfield win when last seen on the flat. Sri Kuantan and Ruff Diamond are others not guaranteed to see out this 1m 6f, while They All Laughed would have much stronger claims if the ground was slower than good. Inchpast has conditions and trip to suit and is worth a market check now that he is on a very handy mark. He could be the fly in the ointment, but Soundbyte gets the nod.
Aegean Prince 11-2 (9-0) Held up, headway 2f out, led inside final furlong, driven out, won at Lingfield 1m 4f hcp (4) pol in Dec beating Alsadaa (8-13) by 2 1/4l, 5 ran.
They All Laughed 11-4fav (9-5) Behind, headway well over 5f out, under pressure and weakened over 3f out, 5th of 10, 7l behind Onemoreandstay (8-6) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs.
Sri Kuantan (IRE) 7-1 (8-1) Tracked leaders, led over 5f out, headed over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 4th of 8, 8l behind Serious Choice (7-11) at Yarmouth 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) gd.
Soundbyte 7-1 (8-12) Held up, stayed on from over 1f out, 3rd of 11, 2 3/4l behind Gordonsville (9-2) at Musselburgh 1m 6f hcp 0-85 (4) gf.
Ruff Diamond (USA) 16-1 (8-11) Slowly into stride, towards rear, stayed on under pressure final 2f, not troubled leaders final furlong, 4th of 9, 4l behind Haarth Sovereign (9-0) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp 0-80 (4) pol.
Inchpast 14-1 (9-8) Towards rear, ridden 7f out, never dangerous from over 2f out, 8th of 13, 21l behind Master At Arms (9-6) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp (5) pol in Dec.
Rawdon (IRE) 8-1 (8-8) In touch, smooth headway over 2f out, shaken up to challenge approaching final furlong, soon one pace, 2nd of 10, 1l behind Onemoreandstay (8-6) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs.