STRAIT OF ZANZIBAR, a Listed winner as a juvenile, gained his only other victory in this race last year and returned to that kind of form behind Iron Major last week. He's 7lb lower than a year ago and, with Conor Hoban claiming 3lb, is taken to complete the double. English Deer won a better handicap than this on his final start of the last campaign but had been beaten on his racecourse debut by Zalty and that winner, who won here in October with In Salutem well beaten, is much better off at the weights. Fastidious is a good yardstick at this level and reappeared with an all-the-way victory last month for which a 5lb rise looks realistic. Dancing Cosmos is going well though her four career victories have all been over further.
English Deer (IRE) 5-2 (9-5) Held up in touch, 7th halfway, ridden in 6th 2f out, closer 5th 1f out, stayed on well final furlong to lead near line, won at Dundalk 6f hcp pol in Nov beating Yulong Baoju (9-12) by shd, 10 ran.
Slipper Orchid (IRE) 12-1 (9-3) Towards rear on inner, some headway early straight and 7th 1f out, kept on same pace under pressure inside final furlong, 5th of 18, 2 3/4l behind Tobann (9-3) at Leopardstown 7f hcp gd in Aug.
Zalty (FR) 7-2fav (9-10) Chased leaders, 4th 2f out, ridden in 2nd 1 1/2f out, led 1f out, stayed on well final furlong, won at Dundalk 7f 3yo hcp 60-95 pol in Oct beating Toccata Blue (9-7) by 3/4l, 7 ran.
Fastidious 9-1 (9-6) Made all, ridden 2f out and challenged 1f out, under pressure and kept on well inside final furlong, won at Dundalk 7f hcap pol in Feb beating Harpist (9-9) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
Grey Danube (IRE) 3-1fav (9-8) Soon led, 4 lengths clear halfway, ridden 2f out and reduced advantage 1f out, under pressure and edged left inside final furlong, headed final 50 yards, 4th of 10, 1/2l behind Lottie Dod (9-6) at Dundalk 6f hcp pol.
Antiquus (IRE) 9-2 (9-8) Broke well, settled back to track leader, ridden in 3rd entering straight and no extra under 2f out, eased final furlong, 9th of 10, 7l behind Lottie Dod (9-6) at Dundalk 6f hcp pol.
In Salutem 8-1 (9-5) Dwelt and off pace in last, ridden over 2f out, soon no impression in last, last of 4, 14l behind Maontri (8-11) at Dundalk 1m 4yo stk pol in Feb.
Dancing Cosmos (IRE) 8-1 (8-13) Tracked leaders and 4th halfway, progress early straight and ridden to lead over 1f out, under pressure and kept on well inside final furlong, won at Dundalk 1m hcap pol beating Equation Of Time (9-1) by 1l, 11 ran.
Fleet Captain 7-1 (9-1) Chased leader and 5th halfway, ridden 2f out and progress to challenge inside final furlong, kept on under pressure, 3rd of 10, 1/2l behind Lottie Dod (9-6) at Dundalk 6f hcp pol.
Strait Of Zanzibar (USA) 6-1 (9-5) Chased leaders in 3rd, ridden entering straight, led under pressure 1 1/2f out, soon strongly pressed, headed inside final furlong, kept on close home, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Iron Major (9-9) at Dundalk 7f stks 0-80 pol.