Malcheek is well drawn for a front-runner but his best form has come under quick conditions and we'll look elsewhere, with the vote going to MAGIC CAT. The pick did very well to cut down the in-form Lochan Mor in a better race at Newcastle, advertising once more that cut in the ground suits. He shaped that day as though seven furlongs would be within his compass and could be one to keep on side. Internationaldebut was supported at Pontefract and shaped as though his winning turn is near but perhaps not on ground this testing, indeed Cara's Request is considered the danger to Magic Cat. David Nicholls' horse loves conditions and deserves the 5lb rise he's incurred for making all here last time, but he was much better drawn that day. With that in mind Solar Spirit may close the gap on him while last year's winner Conry catches the eye with Hanagan booked.
Malcheek (IRE) 14-1 (9-2) Made all, ridden over 1f out, kept on well, won at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Sep beating Layline (9-7) by 2 1/4l, 7 ran.
Magic Cat 22-1 (9-0) Mid-division, headway under pressure when hung left over 1f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, stayed on to challenge final 50 yards, led post, won at Newcastle 6f hcp 0-85 (4) hvy beating Lochan Mor (8-13) by shd, 14 ran.
Internationaldebut (IRE) 6-1 (9-4) In rear, not clear run from 2f out, switched right 1f out, ridden and ran on towards finish, not reach leaders, 3rd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Divertimenti (8-12) at Pontefract 5f hcp 0-85 (4) gd.
Snow Bay 20-1 (9-5) Led, ridden over 2f out, headed over 1f out, soon weakened, 9th of 14, 8l behind Harriet's Girl (9-0) at Ayr 1m hcp 0-85 (4) gd in Sep.
Cara's Request (AUS) 3-1fav (9-7) Made all, 3l clear over 2f out, soon hard driven, ran on well, won at Catterick 7f hcp 0-75 (5) gd beating Solar Spirit (8-11) by 2l, 10 ran.
Conry (IRE) 12-1 (9-5) Always in rear, 11th of 12, 9l behind Cativo Cavallino (8-4) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-75 (5) pol.
Last Sovereign 20-1 (8-12) Led, headed 2f out, led again over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, faded, 6th of 12, 2 3/4l behind Saint Pierre (9-0) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Sep.
Inheritor (IRE) 12-1 (9-7) Pressed leaders, lost place 4f out, soon behind, weakened and eased over 1f out, 12th of 13, 46l behind Ahlawy (9-5) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-85 (4) pol.
Cornus 20-1 (9-2) Mid-division, pushed along halfway, headway over 1f out, ran on, never nearer, 5th of 13, 4l behind Green Park (9-0) at Chester 6f hcp 0-85 (4) gs in Sep.
Elusive Sue (USA) 10-1 (9-3) Mid-division, weakened over 2f out, 15th of 16, 22l behind Rough Rock (8-5) at York 7f hcp 0-80 (4) gf in Sep.
Solar Spirit (IRE) 8-1 (8-11) Held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, soon chasing leaders, never able to challenge, 2nd of 10, 2l behind Cara's Request (9-7) at Catterick 7f hcp 0-75 (5) gd.
Island Chief 25-1 (8-13) Behind, some late headway, never on terms, 7th of 10, 10l behind Trans Sonic (8-9) at Catterick 7f hcp 0-75 (5) gd.