EXCEL BOLT won his first two starts at Musselburgh before taking his chance in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last June. He finished an excellent third on that occasion and, if he's improved in the meantime, Bryan Smart's colt will take all the beating here. Shoshoni Wind finished a respectable fifth in a Group 3 fillies' race at Ayr in September and could prove the chief danger as Cocktail Charlie finished just behind the selection at Musselburgh last year and hasn't progressed as expected in a couple of starts since. Crimson Knot looks up against it in this company on her return.
Excel Bolt 7-1 (9-1) Raced alone on stands side rail, well on terms with main group, looked to hold every chance from 2f out, kept on, not quite pace of leading duo in main group inside final furlong, 3rd of 12, 1 3/4l behind Approve (9-1) at Royal Ascot 5f 2yo Grp 2 (1) gf in Jun.
Cocktail Charlie 9-1 (9-7) Held up in rear, headway halfway, switched left to challenge 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, 5th of 16, 4 1/2l behind On The High Tops (8-2) at Thirsk 5f 3yo hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Apr.
Crimson Knot (IRE) 9-2 (9-7) Chased leaders, ridden to lead over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, kept on same pace, 3rd of 7, 2l behind Berberana (9-5) at Musselburgh 5f 2yo hcp 0-85 (4) gs in Oct.
Shoshoni Wind 33-1 (8-12) Led and keen, ridden and headed 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 5th of 10, 3 1/2l behind Majestic Dubawi (8-12) at Ayr 6f 2yo fll Grp 3 (1) gd in Sep.