Taikoo won this last year on soft going off the same mark, beating the remarkable Sphinx by two lengths, and hinted at a revival last time. Edwin Tuer's veteran won it in 2008 but this will be his first outing since a run over hurdles in January and he's 3lb out of the handicap. Asker shouldn't have a problem with either trip or going but there are questions to answer after he lost his unbeaten record under Rules at Newbury while Astral Thunder and Seaside Sizzler have been out of sorts this year. Hawkeshead was only beaten a short-head over 1m6f at Haydock last time, however, and Cosimo de Medici is a lot better than he showed in the Ascot Stakes and stays well. FRENCH HOLLOW was fourth in the Northumberland Plate in June off a 2lb higher mark and has found the ground too fast in subsequent starts. He's unlikely to be far away here if back to his best.
Astral Thunder (ARG) 25-1 (10-0) Mid-division, outpaced over 2f out, soon ridden, kept on same pace under pressure from over 1f out, never on terms, 7th of 10, 8l behind Address Unknown (9-11) at Ascot 2m hcp 0-100 (2) gf in Aug.
Bolivia (GER) 40-1 (8-10) Raced wide tracked leaders, pushed along 6f out, ridden and weakened over 4f out, tailed off, last of 13, dis behind Tominator (9-0) at Chester 1m 5f listed hcp 0-110 (1) gd.
Cosimo De Medici 15-2 (9-4) Dwelt always in rear, last of 20, 38l behind Simenon (9-10) at Royal Ascot 2m 4f hcp 0-95 (2) gd in Jun.
Seaside Sizzler 9-1 (9-0) Always behind, ridden and beaten over 3f out, eased final furlong, tailed off, last of 9, 22l behind Rumh (9-3) at Goodwood 2m hcp 105 (2) gd.
Asker (IRE) 8-1 (9-8) Slowly into stride, towards rear, headway on inside over 3f out, carried head high and weakened quickly over 2f out, eased final furlong, tailed off, 14th of 15, 35l behind Lily In Pink (10-0) at Newbury 1m 5f hcp 0-90 (3) gd in Aug.
French Hollow 11-1 (9-9) Dwelt, towards rear, ridden over 2f out, kept on final furlong, never near leaders, 5th of 10, 10l behind Mafeteng (8-9) at York 2m hcp 0-85 (4) gf.
Pokfulham (IRE) 25-1 (8-13) Reminder soon after start, headway to lead over 9f out, headed 4f out, weakened over 2f out, last of 13, 24l behind Edmaaj (9-8) at Hamilton 1m 4f hcp 0-90 (3) sft in Aug.
Taikoo 6-1 (9-7) Raced in 3rd behind clear leader, went 2nd over 5f out, closed over 3f out, led inside final 3f, ridden and headed inside final 2f, no chance with winner, weakened to 3rd inside final furlong, 3rd of 7, 9l behind Jamarjo (9-1) at Kempton 2m hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Aug.
Los Nadis (GER) 9-2 (9-9) Mid-division, outpaced 3f out, soon behind, 7th of 10, 17l behind New Youmzain (8-9) at Chester 2m hcp 0-85 (4) gd.
Hawkeshead 16-1 (9-4) Soon led, ridden over 2f out, edged left and headed over 1f out, led again inside final furlong, headed post, 2nd of 9, shd behind Daring Indian (9-2) at Haydock 1m 6f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Aug.
Simonside 16-1 (9-11) In touch in main group, effort on outside 5f out, ridden 3f out, stayed on same pace from over 1f out, no impression on leaders, 6th of 12, 7l behind May Contain Nuts (8-12) at Pontefract 2m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Sep '11.
Sphinx (FR) 5-4fav (8-13) Held up in touch, headway to lead 2f out, stayed on strongly (hand timed), won at Ayr 1m 7f hcp (4) hvy in Oct beating Chookie Hamilton (9-3) by 4l, 6 ran.