GRAND OPERA makes plenty of appeal in this line-up with Darenjan and Toshi the two that he has to fear most. The selection has been on a roll, reeling off a hat-trick in facile fashion, and he is fancied to defy a hefty rise in the weights. The assessor has made his life much harder here but this fair Flat handicapper is progressing so quickly over obstacles that he may still have the upper hand. There have been glimmers of promise from Is It Me lately whilst Royal Rationale and Amazing King didn't run too badly in competitive races when last in action. Last time out winners Toshi and Darenjan both merit respect although the Irish raider, as is customary now, has to race from a significantly higher mark than when scoring on the other side of the sea. Quasar D'Oudairies bounced back from a spell in the wilderness in March and it will be interesting to see if there's any confidence behind him on his return whilst Treaty Flyer has progressed well throughout the year and can't be ignored but Grand Opera can come out on top again.
Is It Me (USA) 20-1 (11-2) Held up, weakened 4 out, soon tailed off, 10th of 17, 20l behind Valain (10-11) at Ffos Las 2m hcp hdl (2) gd in Aug.
Royal Rationale (IRE) 8-1 (10-11) In rear, jumped slowly 3rd, headway when not fluent 2 out, stayed on flat, 5th of 13, 7l behind Cootehill (10-0) at Market Rasen 2m 1f lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gd in Jul.
Grand Opera (IRE) 7-2 (10-10) Settled behind leaders, 5th halfway, headway in 3rd 3 out, challenged next and soon led, ridden clear before last, kept on strongly, easily, won at Killarney 2m 1f EXt hcp hdl sft in Aug beating Hot Port (10-13) by 6l, 7 ran.
Amazing King (IRE) 14-1 (10-10) Towards rear, headway approaching 2 out, kept on same pace, 4th of 17, 10l behind Valain (10-11) at Ffos Las 2m hcp hdl (2) gd in Aug.
Izita Star 16-1 (10-10) Mid-division, chased leaders approaching 3 out, weakened approaching 2 out, 13th of 17, 34l behind Valain (10-11) at Ffos Las 2m hcp hdl (2) gd in Aug.
Ellerslie Tom 20-1 (10-3) Chased leaders, weakened 3 out, 9th of 17, 19l behind Valain (10-11) at Ffos Las 2m hcp hdl (2) gd in Aug.
Toshi (USA) 14-1 (11-0) Mid-division, short of room approaching 3 out, headway next, chased leaders approaching last, ran on to lead flat, all out, won at Bangor 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd in Aug beating Is It Me (11-9) by 3/4l, 15 ran.
Darenjan (IRE) 7-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, in front 2 out, soon ridden, mistake last, stayed on well run-in, won at Galway 2m 2f hcp hdl 88-116 in Aug beating Saddler's Native (10-12) by 1 1/4l, 15 ran.
Quasar d'Oudairies (FR) 7-2 (11-3) Tracked leaders, lost place 5th, headway after 3 out, not much room last, ran on to lead towards finish, pushed out, won at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Mar beating Royal Rationale (11-12) by 1/2l, 10 ran.
Treaty Flyer (IRE) 20-1 (11-6) Chased leaders, led 2 out, headed flat, not quicken, 2nd of 15, 1l behind Dancewiththedevil (10-13) at Stratford 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gf.
Hassanali (IRE) 14-1 (10-11) Towards rear, headway straight, no impression and kept on without threatening from before last, 6th of 17, 8l behind Fingers (10-9) at Roscommon 2m hcp hdl 8Evens23 fm in Jun.