Last year’s runner-up Dakota Gold has been installed as the 9-1 favourite by the sponsors ahead of the William Hill Great St Wilfrid at Ripon on Saturday.
Michael Dods’ five-year-old won the Sky Bet Dash at York last time out, and is chasing another major sprinting prize in the north with £75,000 up for grabs this weekend.
Despite having such a good record in top-class sprints in recent years, Dods has yet to win the prestigious handicap.
Last year’s winner Gunmetal is once again in the mix for David Barron, who was winning the race for a second time 12 months ago after Premier Touch landed the spoils back in 1991.
The Easterby family have a good record in the race, with Tim responsible for two victories, most recently Mattmu two years ago.
This time he has entered no fewer than eight, including top-weight Vintage Brut. Staxton, Flying Pursuit and Hyperfocus all in the mix.
Phillip Makin, in his first year with a licence, has a solid chance with last time out course and distance winner Lahore, while David O’Meara and Richard Fahey are well represented.
O’Meara has Summerghand, Gulliver and Intisaab among his team, with Fahey responsible for George Bowen, Great Prospector and Growl.
Charlie Hills’ Vanbrugh, Ruth Carr’s Poyle Vinnie, Ralph Beckett’s Richenza and the Mark Johnston-trained Lake Volta are others among the 49 entries.