PEKAN STAR looks to have been laid out for this contest. He won his handicap debut back in May and has been off the track since coming up short over 1m2f at Newmarket in August. A half-brother to a French Derby winner over 1m4f, Roger Varian's charge could prove a cut above these with his stamina put to the test. Willing Foe was tailed off when fancied for this last year but made a promising comeback at Newbury last month and is preferred to stablemate Burj Nahar, while the progressive Kiama Bay has to come into the reckoning with a 5lb apprentice on board. John Dunlop won last season's renewal and Harlestone Times is not easily dismissed dropping back in trip, while the same comment applies to Zuider Zee. Recent winners Samsons Son, Demolition and Classic Vintage are all stepping up a grade however.
Montaff 33-1 (9-6) Held up towards rear, pushed along 3f out, soon weakened, 19th of 20, 36l behind Moyenne Corniche (8-10) at York 1m 6f hcp (2) gd in Aug.
Harlestone Times (IRE) 10-1 (9-10) Held up towards rear, ridden over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 5th of 11, 2 1/4l behind Old Hundred (8-10) at Doncaster 1m 7f hcp (2) gd in Sep.
Kiama Bay (IRE) 4-1 (9-1) Held up in touch, headway over 1f out, soon hung left, kept on well inside final furlong to go 2nd last strides, no chance with winner, 2nd of 6, 2 1/2l behind Debussy (9-1) at Chester 1m 4f Listed stks 3yo (1) gd in Sep.
The Betchworth Kid 18-1 (9-11) Held up in rear, never a factor, 9th of 10, 10l behind Art History (8-9) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 105 (2) gf in Oct.
Willing Foe (USA) 8-1 (9-2) Mid-division, edged slightly right over 2f out, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on, not able to challenge, 4th of 16, 1 1/4l behind Kirthill (8-8) at Newbury 1m 2f hcp (2) gf in Oct.
Burj Nahar 7-1 (9-10) Held up behind, ridden over 1f out, soon weakened, last of 8, 16l behind Club Oceanic (9-1) at Doncaster 1m 2f hcp 0-110 (2) gd in Sep.
Tepmokea (IRE) 8-1 (9-8) Mid-division, 9th halfway, ridden and no impression over 2f out, kept on one pace, 7th of 15, 11l behind Celebrity Sevi (8-9) at Naas 1m 4f hcp in Oct.
Classic Vintage (USA) 11-2 (9-9) Made virtually all, 3 lenghts clear 4f out, ridden well over 1f out, kept up to work, stayed on well, won at Ffos Las 1m 4f hcp 0-95 (3) gs in Sep beating Protaras (8-10) by 1 1/2l, 7 ran.
Resurge (IRE) 22-1 (9-2) Held up in rear, switched right over 2f out, soon ridden, kept on final 100 yards, never dangerous, 9th of 16, 8l behind Kirthill (8-8) at Newbury 1m 2f hcp (2) gf in Oct.
Merchant Of Dubai 25-1 (9-6) In touch, pushed along 3f out, weakened soon after, 17th of 19, 25l behind Taqleed (9-1) at Newbury 1m 2f hcp 105 (2) gd in Sep.
Pekan Star 5-2fav (9-12) In rear, ridden over 3f out, some headway over 2f out, hung left final furlong, never on terms, 6th of 10, 6l behind Classic Punch (9-11) at Newmarket 1m 2f hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Aug.
Demolition 25-1 (8-12) Chased leaders, led 2f out, ridden and in command over 1f out, stayed on strongly final furlong, won at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Oct beating Absinthe (9-3) by 3 1/2l, 14 ran.
Ile De Re (FR) (9-2) 7th of 8, 10l behind Be Fabulous (8-12) at Saint-Cloud(FR) 1m 6f Listed stks (1) gs in Oct.
Zuider Zee (GER) 7-2 (9-11) In touch, ridden 2f out, no impression, 6th of 9, 6l behind Bowdler's Magic (9-2) at Yarmouth 1m 6f hcp (2) gd in Sep.
Itlaaq 20-1 (9-6) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, headway approaching final furlong, kept on one pace, 4th of 10, 2 1/2l behind Art History (8-9) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 105 (2) gf in Oct.
Crackentorp 25-1 (8-13) Behind, some late headway, never dangerous, 9th of 16, 12l behind Bauer (9-7) at Haydock 1m 6f hcp 105 (2) gf in Sep.
Hanoverian Baron 8-1 (9-3) Mid-division, hampered after 3f, headway towards stands side 3f out, ridden 2f out, kept on final furlong, no impression, 7th of 16, 5l behind Tepmokea (9-1) at York 1m 4f hcp 0-105 (2) gd in May.
Oceanway (USA) 12-1 (8-11) Tracked leaders, pushed along over 3f out, beaten over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 16, 8l behind Kirthill (8-8) at Newbury 1m 2f hcp (2) gf in Oct.
Enroller (IRE) 9-1 (9-12) Held up in last, headway from 4f out to take 3rd over 2f out, never near front pair, well held from over 1f out, 3rd of 7, 13l behind Classic Vintage (9-9) at Ffos Las 1m 4f hcp 0-95 (3) gs in Sep.
Scrapper Smith (IRE) 10-3fav (9-7) In rear, headway over 2f out, soon ridden, chased winner inside final furlong, stayed on near finish, 2nd of 9, 3/4l behind European Dream (8-13) at Ayr 1m 1f hcp 0-90 (3) hvy in Oct.
Status Symbol (IRE) 16-1 (9-5) Led, driven clear over 3f out, hard pressed over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, no extra, 3rd of 16, 3/4l behind Lexington Bay (7-11) at Haydock 1m 6f hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Sep.
Bramalea 20-1 (9-3) Took keen hold, raced wide, tracked leader, pushed along 5f out, lost 2nd 4f out, weakened over 2f out, behind and eased final furlong, tailed off, last of 8, 44l behind Mohedian Lady (8-9) at Newmarket 1m 4f fll lst stks (1) gf in Sep.
Samsons Son 16-1 (9-6) In rear, headway and switched right over 2f out, ridden to chase leaders over 1f out, led inside final furlong, stayed on, won at Goodwood 1m 4f hcp 0-90 (3) sft in Sep beating Tahaamah (8-10) by nk, 13 ran.