Royal Riviera won a bumper on heavy ground at Wetherby on debut last year but has shown little since then to merit backing him. Royal Trooper was disappointing in the Cesarewitch but was in good form prior to that run and is worth including in calculations. However, he has never won from a mark this high and the tentative vote goes to SPHINX who won this race last year and is proven on heavy ground. He was given a similar preparation run at York last season and looks primed to put in a big race here. Pertemps Networks is in form but may just be in the grasp of the handicapper now, whilst Lady Bluesky is a big threat to the selection only 4lb higher after winning well at Catterick. Hong Kong Island and Royal Swain are others to consider in a competitive race.
Royal Trooper (IRE) 66-1 (7-10) Mid-division, headway and in touch 4f out, ridden to chase leaders over 2f out, soon weakened, 21st of 32, 27l behind Aaim To Prosper (7-13) at Newmarket 2m 2f hcp (2) gs.
Royal Swain (IRE) 11-4fav (9-11) Led 1f, tracked leader, ridden to lead over 1f out, kept on well, won at Catterick 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) sft beating Aegean Destiny (8-1) by 1 3/4l, 9 ran.
Pertemps Networks 9-2 (8-12) Mid-division, headway under pressure over 1f out, led inside final furlong, headed post, 2nd of 12, ns behind Tepmokea (9-12) at York 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) sft.
Royal Riviera 7-1 (9-7) In touch, ridden over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 7th of 9, 16l behind Palio Square (9-2) at Wolverhampton 1m 6f hcp 0-80 (4) pol.
Sphinx (FR) 25-1 (9-4) Held up in rear, switched to race stands side over 3f out, headway to chase leaders over 2f out, stayed on strongly inside final furlong, never reached winner, 2nd of 10, 3/4l behind Act Of Kalanisi (9-7) at York 2m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) sft.
Bollin Judith 5-1 (9-7) Chased winner after 2f, ridden over 3f out, kept on one pace from over 1f out, 4th of 8, 6l behind Dan Buoy (8-12) at Pontefract 2m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gd.
Lady Bluesky 4-1 (10-0) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 4f out, led 3f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on well, won at Catterick 2m hcp 0-60 (6) sft beating Rare Coincidence (9-1) by 2 1/4l, 13 ran.
Tillietudlem (FR) 9-2 (9-4) Chased winner 2f, tracked leaders, pushed along 5f out, ridden 3f out, one pace final 2f, 5th of 8, 9l behind Dan Buoy (8-12) at Pontefract 2m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gd.
Hong Kong Island (IRE) 15-8fav (9-5) Held up in touch, headway over 3f out, led over 2f out, headed inside final furlong, soon switched right, no extra, 2nd of 8, 1 1/2l behind Mohawk Ridge (9-9) at Musselburgh 1m 6f hcp 0-65 (6) gs.