A tremendously tricky handicap to open the card where RIVER CAPTAIN is taken at a double-figure price to be too good for Fastnet Storm, while there are stacks of potential dangers. The Sylvester Kirk-trained selection is now 2lbs higher than when beaten just a couple of lengths in Royal Ascot's Britannia Stakes when last seen six weeks or so ago. The break is taken as a positive as, moreso, is the step back up in trip. He acts on good ground and will welcome any further rain and he looks capable of running a very big race at a price. Thomas Tate has his runners in good form and Fastnet Storm arrives here chasing a hat-trick. The Rock Of Gibralter gelding goes on any ground with good in the description and races from a mark just 3lb higher than when scoring at Pontefract last time and he has been kept back since with this race in mind. Also lower in the weights is Geneva Geyser, twice a winner over this trip at Redcar this time around. He is 4lbs higher than the most recent of those and has so far shown his best form on fast ground, but being by One Cool Cat he should handle genuine good ground equally well, though he does have a little to prove in this bigger and more competitive field. Mark Johnston saddles three here and the least easy to fancy would be Takaatuf, though he has won from this mark earlier in the campaign. He now appears to have gone off the boil, while Roman Republic looks more solid despite beng 3lbs higher than when behind Firebet at Newmarket over this trip. Alpen Glen may well emerge the pick of the trio, though he has a bit to prove after being thrashed at Sandown from a lower mark last time. Sopranist is not written off after just three runs so far, despite being raised 4lbs for a defeat, while Mirrored has every chance of showing more now stepped up to this trip for the first time. Sir Michael Stoute's colt will act on the ground and looks a clear danger as an unexposed runner at the trip. Alazeyab has a tough job with top weight if his York run is any sort of yardstick, while a 5lb rise for Sandor makes this a fair bit tougher than the Sandown contest he took earlier in the month. River Captain is suggested in a difficult start for punters.
Alazeyab (USA) 20-1 (8-9) Soon chasing leaders, ridden and weakened over 2f out, 10th of 18, 21l behind Sirvino (8-8) at York 1m 2f hcap (2) gd.
Shampagne 11-1 (9-3) Led, ridden and headed over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 5th of 7, 4 1/2l behind Spring Of Fame (8-12) at Newmarket 1m con stks (2) gd.
Sopranist 16-1 (9-6) Tracked winner, ridden over 2f out, pressed winner from over 1f out, unable to quicken inside final furlong, 2nd of 8, 3/4l behind Laaheb (8-10) at Newmarket 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-95 (3) gd.
Mirrored 9-2fav (8-7) Held up in rear, headway on outside over 1f out, stayed on to take 3rd inside final furlong, not pace to reach leading pair, 3rd of 16, 2 1/4l behind Acrostic (9-0) at Sandown 1m hcap (2) gd.
River Captain (IRE) 14-1 (8-12) In touch stands side, ridden to challenge and every chance over 1f out, no extra and one pace final furlong, 5th of 30, 2l behind Fareer (8-10) at Royal Ascot 1m 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) gf in Jun.
Set The Trend 10-3fav (9-3) Behind, headway over 2f out, went 2nd over 1f out, no chance with winner final furlong, 2nd of 8, 4l behind Cloudy Start (9-3) at Kempton 1m cnd stks (3yo) (3) pol in Jun.
Ra Junior (USA) 18-1 (8-3) Raced on wide outside, in touch until lost place before halfway, behind final 4f, 17th of 18, 34l behind Sirvino (8-8) at York 1m 2f hcap (2) gd.
Roman Republic (FR) 7-2 (8-10) Dwelt, soon tracked leaders, ridden and every chance 1f out, kept on same pace, 2nd of 14, 1 3/4l behind Firebet (9-5) at Newmarket 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) gd.
Midnight Cruiser (IRE) 5-1 (9-6) Pulled hard in touch, driven over 2f out, soon weakened, 8th of 11, 15l behind Shamali (9-8) at Ascot 1m 2f hcp 0-90 (3) gf.
Alpen Glen 15-8fav (8-11) Led until over 7f out, tracked leader, pushed along 3f out, weakened approaching 2f out, 6th of 10, 14l behind Fanjura (9-7) at Sandown 1m 2f hcp 0-100 (2) gd.
Hyades (USA) 25-1 (8-10) In touch centre group, joined stands side group 5f out, effort 2f out, no extra over 1f out, kept on one pace, 6th of 30, 3 1/2l behind Fareer (8-10) at Royal Ascot 1m 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) gf in Jun.
Sandor 9-1 (9-7) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd 2f out, ridden to challenge over 1f out, strongly driven to lead near finish, won at Sandown 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) gd beating Nbhan (8-8) by nk, 8 ran.
Changing The Guard 25-1 (8-7) Held up in rear, ridden 2f out, stayed on final furlong, never nearer, 5th of 14, 4 1/2l behind Firebet (9-5) at Newmarket 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) gd.
Fastnet Storm (IRE) 11-4fav (9-1) Made all, shaken up over 2f out, driven and kept on gamely final furlong, won at Pontefract 1m 2f hcp 0-90 (3) gf in Jun beating Bullet Man (10-0) by 1l, 8 ran.
Geneva Geyser (GER) 7-2 (9-5) Led, ridden to lead final furlong, kept on well, won at Redcar 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) fm beating Sign Of Approval (8-9) by 1 1/2l, 4 ran.
Takaatuf (IRE) 20-1 (8-6) Led after 1f, ridden over 2f out, headed approaching final furlong, no extra, 7th of 14, 7l behind Firebet (9-5) at Newmarket 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) gd.
Dome Rocket 9-2 (9-5) Tracked leader, ridden to lead over 1f out, driven out, won at Epsom Downs 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-80 (4) gd beating Hallstatt (9-7) by 1 1/2l, 8 ran.