Black Bear Island has been the subject of some good reports since Epsom and he wouldn't be the first horse to bounce back after a disappointing run in the Derby, however NATIVE RULER doesn't have too much work to do to reverse Dante running with him and it is Henry Cecil's colt that is preferred. The longer distance today could be crucial for the son of Cape Cross and half-brother to St. Ledger winner Sixties Icon. There is plenty of stamina on his dam¿s side (Oaks winner) and this well-thought-of individual can reward his trainer's faith. Hail Caesar should ensure that they go a true gallop which should suit stablemate Black Bear Island. The likely favourite was so disappointing at Epsom but he was said to have never acted on the track although to me he looked beaten before the camber became an issue. Montaff is also a Derby rejectee, having finished well down the field; his trainer thinks a lot of him but so far we are yet to really see why. Nehaam was soundly beaten in he Dante (20 lengths) and Richard Hills prefers Aqwaal for Ed Dunlop despite the horse being rated lower. He won well last time out at Newbury and is obviously progressive but this is a big step up in class. Father Time has been holding his form well but looks below this level, as do Beauchamp Xerxes, and if truth be told, Free Agent. Of more interest may be South Easter who missed the Derby because of injury, and also Your Old Pal who should revel in the longer trip this afternoon and he has place claims. This looks a wide open contest, but with fancied runners having a good record in the race (no double-figure priced winner this millennium) it is Native Ruler who can give Henry Cecil his first winner in this race since Subtle Power in 2000.
Black Bear Island (IRE) 7-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, pushed along and 12th straight, soon struggling, 10th of 12, 14l behind Sea The Stars (9-0) at Epsom Downs 1m 4f stks (1) gd.
Aqwaal (IRE) 6-4fav (8-8) Raced wide in touch, chased leader 2f out, pressed leader over 1f out, ran on under pressure to lead final strides, won at Newbury 1m 2f hcp (2) sft in May beating Decision (7-13) by hd, 12 ran.
Beauchamp Xerxes 9-1 (9-0) Held up in last, pushed along on outside 3f out, driven along and stayed on final 2f, went 2nd towards finish, never any chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 3l behind Alwaary (9-0) at Goodwood 1m 3f 3yo lst stks (1) gd in May.
Debussy (IRE) 33-1 (9-0) Took keen hold, soon in mid-division, 6th straight, pushed along 3f out, weakened 2f out, 8th of 12, 9l behind Sea The Stars (9-0) at Epsom Downs 1m 4f stks (1) gd.
Father Time 13-8fav (9-0) Held up in touch, driven and headed over 1f out, soon chasing winner, stayed on, 2nd of 5, nk behind Palavicini (9-0) at Newmarket 1m 2f 3yo lst stks (1) gf in May.
Free Agent 5-1 (9-3) Tracked leader, challenged 3f out, led over 2f out, driven and headed over 1f out, no chance with winner inside final furlong, one pace, 4th of 5, 4l behind Alwaary (9-0) at Goodwood 1m 3f 3yo lst stks (1) gd in May.
Hail Caesar (IRE) Evensfav (9-0) Disputed lead, headed 3f out, weakened back to 4th 1f out, last of 4, 9l behind Ard Na Greine (8-11) at Navan 1m 2f 3yo stk gf.
Montaff 40-1 (9-0) In touch, 8th and ridden straight, weakened 3f out, last of 12, 30l behind Sea The Stars (9-0) at Epsom Downs 1m 4f stks (1) gd.
Native Ruler 20-1 (9-0) Chased leaders, ridden and not much room over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 10, 4 1/2l behind Black Bear Island (9-0) at York 1m 2f stks (1) gd in May.
Nehaam 8-1 (9-0) Tracked leaders, ridden and weakened 2f out, soon hung left, last of 10, 20l behind Black Bear Island (9-0) at York 1m 2f stks (1) gd in May.
South Easter (IRE) 6-1 (8-12) Held up behind leaders, ridden along over 2f out, driven and ran on to lead well inside final furlong, held on gainly, won at Chester 1m 2f 3yo Grp 3 (1) gf in May beating Gitano Hernando (8-12) by hd, 7 ran.
Your Old Pal 4-1 (9-5) Held up in touch, shaken up well over 1f out, soon hung left and one pace, 4th of 5, 4 1/2l behind Palavicini (9-0) at Newmarket 1m 2f 3yo lst stks (1) gf in May.