Smart Stat: 2 - Tom Dascombe's number of winners in past 10 runnings
Tom Dascombe always targets this meeting and he has a fair record in this race, so Devious Angel has to be respected after bolting up at Southwell last month. She shaped well on debut at Newmarket and took a big step forward when readily scoring by five and a half lengths last time. Admittedly, that wasn’t much of a race, and it came on fibresand, but the recent rain should be in her favour and she has fared well with the draw. There should be more to come from her.
Smart Stat: 21% - Roger Varian's strike rate with horses running over 10f+
Smart Stat: 20% - Roger Varian's strike rate in early season
Zeyaadah didn’t achieve much when making a winning debut at Chelmsford last season, but did nothing but progress after, following up under a penalty at Beverley before signing off with a listed win at Newmarket on her final start. She produced a decidedly useful performance to stretch her unbeaten record to three, proving very strong in the finish over a mile in heavy ground. Zeyaadah has to carry a 3 lb penalty for that success now, but her pedigree and run style suggest she should improve further for this significant step up in trip and some ease in the ground won’t be an issue.
23% - Sir Michael Stoute's strike rate in early season
Ransom evidently hasn’t been the easiest to train, but he recorded an impressive debut success at Lingfield last year, and defied a 10-month absence when following up in eye-catching fashion over course and distance last month. Ransom had to concede plenty of weight to his younger rivals and looked potentially smart in doing so, producing a taking turn of foot to settle matters inside the final furlong. An opening handicap mark in the 80s could underestimate him and he is a strong fancy.