Top weight HITCHES DUBAI looks set to win the opener at the expense of Botham and Feeling Fresh. The selection broke his maiden tag on the third attempt at Beverley when getting the better of Majestic Lady. He has shown improvement and can score off a mark of just 66 in his first handicap. Botham has won three times in his career to date and came good last time out at Hamilton. He is now six pounds higher in the weights as a result which puts him on a career high mark. Whether he is good enough to win remains to be seen but he still warrants respect. Feeling Fresh has run three fine races this summer and scored at Hamilton on his penultimate start. He was not discredited when finishing third of eleven on heavy going at Haydock last time out so any ease in the going will not hinder his chances. Hitches Dubai looks the most progressive horse in the race and should be able to take advantage of his lenient handicap mark.
Hitches Dubai (BRZ) 5-1 (9-8) With leaders, led over 1f out, stayed on well, won at Beverley 5f mdn stks (5) gf in Jul beating Majestic Lady (8-12) by 1l, 14 ran.
Downhill Skier (IRE) 8-1 (9-7) Dwelt, chased leaders, ridden to lead over 1f out, ran on, won at Thirsk 6f all hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Jul beating Imperial Sword (9-6) by 1 1/4l, 8 ran.
Imperial Sword 4-1 (9-6) Slowly into stride, chased leaders, not clear run from over 1f out, switched left, ridden to chase winner 1f out, unable to quicken near finish, 2nd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Downhill Skier (9-7) at Thirsk 6f all hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Jul.
Liberty Trail (IRE) 16-1 (9-2) Led, ridden and headed 2f out, weakened entering final furlong, 7th of 11, 9l behind Morocchius (8-6) at Musselburgh 7f hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Jul.
Botham (USA) 13-2 (9-2) Held up in rear, ridden and headway from over 1f out, led half furlong from home, ran on, won at Hamilton 6f hcp 0-60 (6) gd in Jul beating Future Gem (8-2) by 2l, 11 ran.
Feeling Fresh (IRE) 11-1 (9-5) Missed break, behind, headway under pressure over 2f out, switched left inside final furlong, stayed on, 3rd of 11, 2 1/4l behind Royal Premium (8-4) at Haydock 1m hcp 0-70 (5) hvy in Jul.
Thunder Bay 13-2 (9-7) Tracked leaders, ridden well over 1f out, soon beaten, 7th of 8, 7l behind Ingleby Star (9-2) at Ayr 5f hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Jul.
Almost Married (IRE) 11-2fav (9-3) Mid-division, ridden halfway, soon one pace, 9th of 13, 5l behind Thunder Bay (9-2) at Musselburgh 5f hcp 0-65 (6) gf in May.
Sea Land (FR) 15-2 (10-9) Stand side group, held up mid-division, headway over 2f out, never on terms, 4th of 18, 8l behind Titus Gent (10-4) at Thirsk 6f ladies hcp 0-55 (6) gs.
Coconut Moon 14-1 (9-8) Stand side group, led and overall leader, headed over 2f out, soon weakened, 13th of 18, 20l behind Titus Gent (10-4) at Thirsk 6f ladies hcp 0-55 (6) gs.
Forrest Star 100-1 (8-4) Chased leaders, ridden and weakened quickly over 2f out, eased when beaten over 1f out, tailed off, last of 11, 24l behind Morocchius (8-6) at Musselburgh 7f hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Jul.