Jim Bolger loves this race and wouldn't be running the newcomer Fiscal Focus without good reason though it would be an incredible training performance if he were to land this Group 1. Giovanni Boldini doesn't have the best form in the race, nor even of his two stablemates Friendship and Wilshire Boulevard, but he's obviously very highly regarded as entries in all the big races suggests. His victory in a Dundalk maiden was a good start but both Sudirman, a winner at this level in the Phoenix Stakes over 6f, and the Vintage Stakes winner TOORMORE, have much stronger form. The latter, who already looks a good prospect for the 2000 Guineas, is handed the vote.
Fiscal Focus (IRE) Intense Focus colt out of Elida.
Friendship (IRE) 7-1 (9-3) Led and clear, ridden over 2f out, soon strongly pressed, headed under 1f out, no impression final furlong, 4th of 5, 5l behind War Command (9-6) at Curragh 7f 2yo Grp 2 (1) gd in Aug.
Giovanni Boldini (USA) 1-3fav (9-3) A little on toes in stalls and dwelt a bit, raced last of the 3, widest and travelled best straight, 2nd and pushed along to challenge over 1f out, got on top and green inside final furlong, stayed on well, won at Dundalk 7f 2yo stks pol beating Atlantic Sea (9-3) by 1 3/4l, 3 ran.
Sniper 9-4 (9-5) Reared as stalls opened and slowly away, towards rear, ridden into 8th 2f out, soon no impression, 8th of 14, 12l behind Pleasant Bay (9-5) at Dundalk 6f 2yo mdn stks pol in Aug.
Sudirman (USA) 4-1 (9-3) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden and headway to lead over 1f out, kept on best under pressure inside final furlong, won at Curragh 6f 2yo Grp 1 (1) gd in Aug beating Big Time (9-3) by 1/2l, 5 ran.
Toormore (IRE) 5-4fav (9-0) In touch, pushed along and headway over 1f out, ridden entering final furlong, quickened to lead close home, won at Goodwood 7f 2yo Grp 2 (1) gs in Jul beating Outstrip (9-0) by nk, 7 ran.
Wilshire Boulevard (IRE) 4-1 (8-12) Behind, slightly outpaced 3f out, switched right over 2f out, headway under pressure over 1f out, ridden and kept on inside final furlong, closed on winner and went 2nd near finish, just held, 2nd of 7, nk behind Astaire (8-12) at York 6f 2yo Grp 2 (1) sft in Aug.