The Victoria Cup is one of the most competitive handicaps of the year and normally throws up plenty of future winners and several of the 29 runners have claims including recent winners Castles In The Air, Splendorinthegrass, Thebes and Crown Choice but every one of the quartet may now be a shade high in the weights off their new marks and it may be worth taking a chance with ORATORY. Richard Hannon's four-year-old showed much improved form from his reappearance run when a close up third behind Brunston in Newbury's Spring Cup last month and he has solid claims off the same mark today for his in-form yard. At the bottom of the weights, Jeremy Gask's Street Power is 1lb lower than when successful on the Polytrack at Kempton last time and he is another to be considered, while Kevin Ryan's Advanced ran better at Thirsk last time but this is tougher. Any market support for Willie Musson's Marajaa would be of interest and he has to be respected following a better effort last time as does Richard Fahey's Prime Exhibit, who found only Penitent too good in the Lincoln on his reappearance but is now 5lbs higher in the weights now. Luca Cumani's Mabait is bound to be popular with backers having continued his winning ways on his return at Sandown last month making it five on the bounce for the four-year-old and he has every chance of winning again despite a 10lb rise in the weights but preference is for Oratory, who can confirm the promise shown in the Spring Cup.
Dunelight (IRE) 10-3 (9-1) Led ridden and headed 1f out, kept on same pace under pressure final furlong, no impression with leading pair final 100 yards, 3rd of 5, 4 1/2l behind Fanunalter (8-12) at Doncaster 1m Listed Stakes (4yo+) (1) gf in Apr.
Mabait 9-4 (8-12) Took keen hold, held up in 5th, smooth headway to track leading pair 2f out, soon quickened to challenge, led over 1f out, soon pushed clear, easily, won at Sandown 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Apr beating Tartan Gigha (8-13) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
Golden Desert (IRE) 50-1 (9-9) In rear, ridden 2f out, keeping on when switched right 1f out, not trouble leaders, 18th of 23, 13l behind Hawkeyethenoo (8-1) at Newmarket 6f hcp (2) gs.
Advanced 6-1 (9-0) Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, stayed on to go 3rd near finish, not pace to challenge, 3rd of 7, 2l behind Markab (9-0) at Thirsk 6f stks (2) gf in Apr.
Castles In The Air 6-1 (8-13) In touch, pushed along 2f out, ridden to lead 1f out, ran on, won at Pontefract 6f hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Apr beating Internationaldebut (8-8) by 2 3/4l, 14 ran.
Manassas (IRE) 9-1 (9-2) Tracked leaders, pulled hard, carried right and hampered over 2f out, not clear run well over 1f out, soon beaten, 14th of 23, 10l behind Brunston (8-2) at Newbury 1m hcp (2) gd in Apr.
Rileyskeepingfaith 25-1 (9-6) In rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, no impression final furlong, 12th of 23, 9l behind Hawkeyethenoo (8-1) at Newmarket 6f hcp (2) gs.
Mirrored 14-1 (8-12) Chased leaders to 2f out, soon weakened, last of 15, 20l behind Osteopathic Remedy (8-4) at Thirsk 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gd.
Splendorinthegrass (IRE) 8-1 (9-4) Tracked leader, ridden 1f out, kept on to lead close home, won at Kempton 1m hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Apr beating Samarinda (8-9) by hd, 10 ran.
Signor Peltro 11-1 (9-11) Held up, headway well over 2f out, kept on final furlong, 6th of 15, 4l behind Prince Of Dance (9-2) at Salisbury 1m hcp 105 (2) sft in Oct.
Flipando (IRE) 14-1 (9-4) Towards rear, ridden 2f out, ran on, not reach leaders, 8th of 23, 4 1/2l behind Hawkeyethenoo (8-1) at Newmarket 6f hcp (2) gs.
Prime Exhibit 12-1 (8-6) Keen chased leaders, led over 3f out, ridden 2f out, headed approaching final furlong, kept on, 2nd of 21, 2 1/2l behind Penitent (9-2) at Doncaster 1m hcp (4yo+) (2) sft in Mar.
Dandy Boy (ITY) 11-2 (9-11) Mid-division, 9th entering straight, soon ridden, 4th 2f out, kept on final furlong, 3rd of 12, 1 1/2l behind Banna Boirche (8-9) at Dundalk 7f hcp pol in Apr.
Bravo Echo 6-1fav (9-2) Tracked leader, ridden and every chance over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 4th of 14, 1l behind Beauchamp Viceroy (9-10) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr.
Thebes 5-1 (8-10) Took keen hold, led 1f, soon settled 3rd, went 2nd 2f out, led inside final furlong, driven and kept on gamely, won at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr beating Vitznau (8-11) by 1/2l, 10 ran.
Makaamen 16-1 (8-11) Held up towards rear, headway over 3f out, not clear run and lost place over 2f out, eased, 20th of 23, 21l behind Brunston (8-2) at Newbury 1m hcp (2) gd in Apr.
Marajaa (IRE) 50-1 (8-4) Held up towards rear, headway going well over 2f out, ran on from over 1f out to join winner well inside final furlong, just held, 2nd of 23, hd behind Brunston (8-2) at Newbury 1m hcp (2) gd in Apr.
One Way Or Another (AUS) 20-1 (8-1) Towards rear, good headway from 2f out, effort inside final furlong when not much room and hit across head by rivals whip, rallied near finish, 3rd of 18, 3/4l behind Kaldoun Kingdom (9-3) at Doncaster 6f hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Mar.
Kay Gee Be (IRE) 6-1fav (8-12) Held up in touch, ridden over 2f out, stayed on towards finish, 3rd of 14, 3/4l behind Beauchamp Viceroy (9-10) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr.
Oratory (IRE) 40-1 (8-7) Mid-division, headway over 2f out, led just over 1f out, soon headed, not quicken inside final furlong, 3rd of 23, 2 1/4l behind Brunston (8-2) at Newbury 1m hcp (2) gd in Apr.
Noble Citizen (USA) 11-1 (8-7) Held up, headway on outside over 1f out, driven and strong run inside final furlong, finished fast and closed on leading pair near finish, almost snatched 2nd, 3rd of 10, 3/4l behind Thebes (8-10) at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr.
Big Noise 7-1 (9-0) Broke well, soon steadied to mid-division, lost place halfway, never dangerous after, 9th of 17, 4 1/2l behind Esoterica (8-13) at Newmarket 7f hcp 105 (2) gd in Oct.
Crown Choice Evensfav (9-4) Tracked leading pair on inside, went 2nd over 2f out, led 1f out, ridden and joined inside final furlong, found extra near finish, won at Kempton 7f hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Apr beating New Leyf (8-9) by nk, 6 ran.
Titan Triumph 7-1 (8-9) Held up last, struggling and no chance over 2f out, last of 10, 8l behind Thebes (8-10) at Lingfield 7f hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr.
Captain Macarry (IRE) 16-1 (9-8) Raced towards stands side, in touch, weakened over 2f out, 14th of 19, 26l behind Irish Heartbeat (9-8) at Doncaster 1m hcp (2) sft in Mar.
Internationaldebut (IRE) 15-2 (8-8) Dwelt in rear, ridden and headway between horses from over 1f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, not reach winner, 2nd of 14, 2 3/4l behind Castles In The Air (8-13) at Pontefract 6f hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Apr.
Dhaular Dhar (IRE) 20-1 (9-9) Raced far side, in touch, ridden and weakened over 2f out, 15th of 19, 29l behind Irish Heartbeat (9-8) at Doncaster 1m hcp (2) sft in Mar.
Huzzah (IRE) 14-1 (8-6) Mid-division, lost place and hampered over 2f out, switched left, no impression, 17th of 23, 12l behind Brunston (8-2) at Newbury 1m hcp (2) gd in Apr.
Street Power (USA) 11-4fav (8-11) In touch, good headway from 2f out, ran on inside final furlong, led near finish, won at Kempton 6f hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Apr beating We Have A Dream (8-9) by nk, 9 ran.