ISLAND HIDEAWAY progressed nicely from his debut to take fourth at Kempton in October and showed further improvement again when second at Chelmsford last month. John Gosden has two in the race with Chelmsford sixth Agreed and newcomer Ocean Pearl, who fetched 275,000 guineas at the sales. They both require a market check, while Roger Varian's Aqrab and the Charlie Appleby-trained Beauty Stone are others to note.
Snooker Jim ran a decent race when third at Newcastle latest and could be a factor, though it may be worth siding with AGENT OF FORTUNE. Results haven't been great for the daughter of Kheleyf recently, but her handicap mark has dropped as a result, enabling her to take part in this contest. Perhaps the switch from Christine Dunnett to Gary Moore can get her back to her best. Keep It Country Tv wasn't far away at Brighton when last seen and is another to note.
Story Of Light was impressive when building on a promising York debut to score with a fair bit in hand at Chelmsford last time. Charlie Appleby's gelding merits respect, though giving 6lb to HARRISON POINT could prove too tough. Archie Watson's colt was beaten by just a neck when unfancied on debut at Kempton but any progression from that would make him a major player here. Newcomers Magnificat and Note Bleu are others to consider.
THE LACEMAKER certainly wasn't winning out of turn when successful over C&D last time and a 4lb rise for that effort looks fair. She can get the better of fellow last-time-out winner Kath's Lustre, who has a 3lb rise to contend with for her narrow Chelmsford victory but is drawn wide. Aguerooo is slipping to an attractive mark and could take advantage anytime soon.
Swiss Pride returned to winning ways in claiming company last time and is interesting back in handicap company, though FIZZY FEET may prove a tough nut to crack. David Loughnane's filly missed out by a head over 5f here two starts ago and landed more minor money at Wolverhampton last time. Though there may be some doubts over her resolution in a finish after a string of near-misses recently, this step up in trip is expected to suit. Whisper Aloud has some decent form to her name, while Gold At Midnight is not without claims.
Aegeus got off the mark at the fourth attempt for Amanda Perrett and is interesting on his handicap debut on his first start for Jedd O'Keeffe. Wimpole Hall won off 2lb lower at Chelmsford last time, while Just The Man struck off 3lb lower two starts ago but failed to follow up last time, but preference is for SKY DEFENDER. Mark Johnston's colt is rated only 2lb higher than when successful at Bath in May and is entitled to come on for his first start in six months over C&D last time.
Watchable might be firmly in the veteran stage, but he showed he retained plenty of his old ability when successful at Newcastle last time. He is expected to make his presence felt, but STAKE ACCLAIM gets the vote instead. Dean Ivory's charge is yet to place in five starts on the all-weather, though that doesn't tell the whole story as he ran well for a long way before finishing fourth in Listed company over 6f here last time. Chelmsford runner-up Gracious John and Kempton third Prince of Rome are others to note.
C&D winner SOMETHING LUCKY ran promisingly over a furlong further here last time and a 1lb lower mark and the drop to this shorter trip could spark immediate improvement. Coronation Cottage has been in fine form at Wolverhampton and has to be considered if transferring that form to this track, while Chitra has slipped to a mark 3lb lower than when beaten by a length over 6f on turf here in September.
ISLAND HIDEAWAY has improved with each of her 3 starts, hitting the crossbar upped to this trip at Chelmsford last time. She should have more to offer and is taken to go one better. There were positives to glean from Agreed's debut effort and she is next on the list ahead of newcomer Peace Treaty and Aqrab, who should leave her initial effort well behind in time.
Having slipped to a handy mark, AGENT OF FORTUNE is worth siding with on debut for Gary Moore. She's now 6 lb lower than when scoring at Chelmsford last winter and is marginally preferred to Duke of North, who has also edged down the weights. Cat Royale is capable of a bold show in a race of this nature and Snooker Jim isn't without hope either.
STORY OF LIGHT is clearly well regarded and looked at least useful when winning a similar event at Chelmsford 3 weeks ago. He can defy a penalty at the main expense of Harrison Point, who was only just denied on his debut at Kempton in August. Top Secret makes most appeal of the newcomers.
THE LACEMAKER took advantage of a career-low mark over C&D 9 days ago and remains well treated off 4 lb higher with a tongue strap now applied. Kath's Lustre revived all of a sudden when winning under this rider at Chelmsford last month and is next best ahead of Napping.
KAMRA is potentially well treated starting out for his shrewd yard and could be the way to go. Fizzy Feet has been shaping as if worth another try at this trip and is feared most ahead of Swiss Pride.
WIMPOLE HALL capitalised on a falling mark back down to this trip under this rider at Chelmsford 3 weeks ago and should go well again up only 2 lb. Michele Strogoff may get an uncontested lead this time and is another to consider along with unexposed 3-y-o Aegeus.
GRACIOUS JOHN took a big step back in the right direction when runner-up at Chelmsford last time and there's no denying he's potentially very well handicapped these days. Prince of Rome and Watchable head the dangers.
CORONATION COTTAGE came very close to making it back-to-back wins at Wolverhampton last month and remains unexposed on the AW. Three Little Birds was in top form prior to her most recent defeat at Wolverhampton last week and is the type to bounce back quickly, while Zapper Cass is another who wasn't seen to best effect at Wolverhampton.