The John Hills-trained Affirmable has found three too good in each of his last three starts and, while there is every chance that he can improve on that position here with just the four runners lining up, it is hard to see him being good enough to get the better of RAKTIMAN, who gets the verdict ahead of The Starboard Bow. Sylvester Kirk's gelding disappointed over 1m2f at Newbury last time but may do better in this smaller field over further so has to be considered. Dane Cottage won a seller for Gay Kelleway at Warwick over just short of this trip last month after which he was sent to David Evans and he has claims back up in distance after three runs over 1m2f but he needs to improve to get the better of Raktiman. Tom Dascombe's colt has been highly tried in handicaps at Epsom and Chester in his last two outings but the son of Rakti has an obvious chance in this company today and he can open his account.
The Starboard Bow 7-1 (10-12) In touch, pushed along over 4f out, weakened over 2f out, 5th of 10, 12l behind Sula Two (10-2) at Newbury 1m 2f am hcp 0-70 (5) gf.
Raktiman (IRE) 14-1 (8-6) Mid-division, driven and lost place 2f out, never on terms, 7th of 10, 10l behind Lord Raglan (9-3) at Chester 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) gs.
Dane Cottage 14-1 (8-8) Close up on outside, tracked leader 6f out, lost place inside final 2f, soon ridden, weakened final furlong, 8th of 10, 12l behind Lord Raglan (9-3) at Chester 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) gs.
Affirmable 7-1 (8-6) Took keen hold, held up and always last, ridden and no impression over 2f out, last of 4, 9l behind Fastback (10-0) at Bath 1m 2f flls hcp 0-75 (5) fm in Jul.