It will take a big effort to win this, but LOVELACE is a tough and reliable performer and can be fancied to go hell-for-leather despite being burdened with top weight. Redford, Musaalem and King's Apostle are others to bear in mind, while Hitchens certainly makes appeal as an each-way option and cannot be discounted. The last-named does face a stiff test for a three-year-old on these terms though. King's Apostle ran a gallant race to be third in the Wokingham last time out and still appears to have plenty to offer. A draw near the centre will help him track whichever side sets the pace and the son of King's Best represents good value at the likely odds. Musaalem (a stablemate of King's Apostle) is unbeaten in three starts and is open to any amount of improvement. Still, this is a very tough ask for one so inexperienced and he needs a bit of luck on his side. Redford has been a popular choice in the build-up to this race and will be bidding to atone for a puzzling effort from his last visit to Ascot. Still, he proved his wellbeing by winning at Newcastle 28 days ago and will be a big threat if he is in the same frame of mind. However, Lovelace has the typical profile of a Mark Johnston-trained battler and, even though he has to carry 3lb extra for his exertions this season, the Royal Applause colt is sure to make this a very stern test today.
Lovelace 15-2 (9-10) Held up towards rear, headway well over 1f out, soon chasing leaders, ran on inside final furlong, 2nd of 18, hd behind Little White Lie (9-0) at Newmarket 7f hcap (2) gd.
Laa Rayb (USA) 25-1 (9-8) In touch far side, stayed on from over 1f out, not quite reach leaders, 5th of 28, 2l behind Regal Parade (8-6) at Ascot 7f hcp 0-105 (2) frm in Jun.
Capricorn Run (USA) 20-1 (9-5) Always towards rear, 14th of 15, 11l behind Knot In Wood (9-4) at Hamilton 6f hcp 0-105 (2) gd.
King's Apostle (IRE) 11-1 (9-0) Held up, headway over 1f out, stayed on strongly inside final furlong, 3rd of 27, 1/2l behind Big Timer (9-2) at Ascot 6f hcp 0-110 (2) gf in Jun.
Hitchens (IRE) 15-2 (9-1) In touch, ridden from over 1f out, kept on well under pressure to lead line, won at Windsor 6f hcp 0-105 (2) gf in Jun beating Hoh Hoh Hoh (9-6) by a ns, 14 ran.
Artimino 15-2 (9-2) Slowly away, held up in rear, effort 2f out, soon weakened, 14th of 18, 9l behind Little White Lie (9-0) at Newmarket 7f hcap (2) gd.
Dhaular Dhar (IRE) 12-1 (9-1) Held up in rear, headway over 1f out, never on terms, 10th of 18, 6l behind Little White Lie (9-0) at Newmarket 7f hcap (2) gd.
Plum Pudding (IRE) 16-1 (9-5) Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, weakened final furlong, 9th of 10, 37l behind Kingsdale Orion (8-3) at Newcastle 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Jun.
Burnwynd Boy 50-1 (8-10) Held up on outside, ridden and headway over 2f out, stayed on well under pressure final furlong, 3rd of 10, 2 1/2l behind Utmost Respect (9-3) at Newcastle 6f Grp 3 (1) sft in Jun.
Zaahid (IRE) 4-1fav (9-0) In touch, ridden and effort over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 11th of 18, 8l behind Little White Lie (9-0) at Newmarket 7f hcap (2) gd.
Giganticus (USA) 20-1 (8-13) Chased leaders, outpaced over 2f out, headway 1f out, soon weakened, 5th of 18, 2l behind Little White Lie (9-0) at Newmarket 7f hcap (2) gd.
Excusez Moi (USA) 50-1 (9-3) Held up, ridden and headway over 1f out, one pace final furlong, 6th of 12, 5l behind Intrepid Jack (9-3) at Newbury 6f Grp 3 (1) gd.
Mastership (IRE) 14-1 (8-11) Mid-division, outpaced over 2f out, headway over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, 4th of 18, 1 1/2l behind Little White Lie (9-0) at Newmarket 7f hcap (2) gd.
Musaalem (USA) 13-8fav (9-3) Steadied at start, held up behind leaders, led 2f out, driven out final furlong, won at Doncaster 6f hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Jun beating Mastership (9-10) by 2l, 13 ran.
Presumptive (IRE) 10-1 (9-7) Held up in rear, driven and headway approaching final furlong, ran on well, nearest finish, 3rd of 12, 3l behind Masai Moon (9-2) at Newmarket 7f hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Jun.
Masai Moon 14-1 (9-2) Made all, quickened 3f out, stayed on gamely, won at Newmarket 7f hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Jun beating Aye Aye Digby (9-1) by 2 1/2l, 12 ran.
Redford (IRE) 7-4fav (8-13) Raced far side, held up, not clear run and switched right well over 1f out, ran on strongly to lead inside final furlong, driven clear, won at Newcastle 7f hcp 0-100 (2) sft in Jun beating The Osteopath (8-11) by 1 1/2l, 14 ran.
Russki (IRE) 8-1 (8-10) Pushed along 3f out, always in rear, 9th of 11, 14l behind Celtic Sultan (9-4) at Chester 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gd in May.
Dream Theme 16-1 (8-11) Slowly into stride, always in rear, last of 13, 19l behind Ajigolo (8-4) at Newmarket 6f hcap (2) gd in May.
Mujood 14-1 (9-13) Led after 2f, ridden and headed 2f out, weakened final furlong, 6th of 14, 4 1/2l behind The Fifth Member (9-10) at Kempton 1m hcp 0-80 (4) pol.
Vainglory (USA) 11-1 (9-7) Towards rear when not much room and checked after 1f, ridden and effort over 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, 6th of 14, 6l behind Blue Spinnaker (8-8) at York 1m hcp 0-90 (3) hvy.
Jedburgh 16-1 (8-5) In rear stands' side, headway from 2f out, ridden to challenge over 1f out, every chance until no extra close home, 3rd of 28, 3/4l behind Regal Parade (8-6) at Ascot 7f hcp 0-105 (2) frm in Jun.
Underworld 4-1 (9-7) Led, ridden and headed over 1f out, kept on same pace, 2nd of 10, 3l behind Summon Up Theblood (9-0) at Ayr 1m 3yo hcp (2) gf in Jun.
Big Noise 9-2fav (9-6) Held up towards rear, ridden over 2f out, soon weakened, 12th of 14, 16l behind Compton's Eleven (8-8) at Doncaster 7f hcp 0-90 (3) gs in Jun.
South Cape 4-1 (9-11) Held up in touch, headway over 2f out, soon ridden, kept on same pace, 4th of 8, 4l behind Cape Hawk (9-6) at Ascot 1m hcp 0-95 (3) gs.
Gallantry 11-1 (10-0) Soon tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 8, 13l behind Bomber Command (9-7) at Great Leighs 1m hcp 0-90 (3) pol.
Slugger O'Toole 12-1 (9-0) Behind, headway over 3f out, soon chasing leaders, weakened inside final furlong, 8th of 19, 4 1/2l behind Duntulm (9-3) at Newmarket 1m 3yo hcp (2) gd.
Thebes 12-1 (8-5) Raced far side, chased leader, led far side group over 2f out, ridden and every chance over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 10th of 20, 4 1/2l behind Spanish Bounty (8-7) at Newmarket 6f 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) gd.
Carniolan 8-11fav (9-10) Held up, headway 2f out, not clear run and snatched up entering final furlong, soon switched right, quickened up well, led line, won at Newmarket 7f 3yo hcp (4) gf beating Brassini (9-9) by a hd, 8 ran.