The draw could play a huge role here and it often pays to be drawn high so we'll take a chance with FIREBACK ahead of Alice Alleyne whilst Atlaal makes some appeal of those drawn low. Fireback is still a maiden but he does have the advantage of having a run under his belt which came on the all-weather track at this venue in April. Andrew Balding's gelding progressed quietly in his three starts in maidens last and took another step forwards when finishing a long way clear of the field in second last month and may be able to continue to progress. Alice Alleyne doesn't look too badly treated on a line through Whirly Dancer who finished third in the maiden which she won at Wolverhampton in October but the remainder of the prominent runners hold the form down so she's probably on no more than a fair mark. Atlaal gave trouble at the start on a couple of occasions last term and may not have fully demonstrated the ability that led to him being given Pattern race entries; a mark of 85 could underestimate him if he proves to be a little calmer now that he's another year on his back. He's feared in a race where a good many more have claims but a high draw may assist Fireback in going close.
San Cassiano (IRE) 5-2fav (8-12) Tracked leader, led 2f out, ridden and headed over 1f out, edged right and stayed on same pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 8, 3l behind Mon Cadeaux (9-1) at Salisbury 6f 2yo stks (2) gf in Sep.
Rakaan (IRE) 8-11fav (9-3) Close up, led well over 1f out, ridden inside final furlong, kept on well, won at Bath 6f 2yo mdn (5) fm in Sep beating Desert Poppy (8-12) by 2 1/4l, 9 ran.
Desert Auction (IRE) 33-1 (9-7) Held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, never nearer, 5th of 13, 3 1/2l behind Leviathan (9-1) at Doncaster 7f 2yo hcp (3) gs in Oct.
Edgewater (IRE) 16-1 (8-10) Soon switched right to race in rear far side, headway from 2f out, ran on inside final furlong, never nearer, 7th of 19, 1 3/4l behind Mister Hughie (9-4) at Newmarket 6f 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Apr.
Atlaal (USA) 1-5fav (9-0) Tracked leader, shaken up to lead over 1f out, soon clear, comfortably, won at Haydock 6f mdn stks (5) gf in Sep beating Sharp Shoes (9-0) by 6l, 6 ran.
Russian Rock (IRE) 66-1 (8-11) Slowly into stride, always in rear of main group, 10th of 13, 10l behind Meezaan (8-12) at Newbury 7f 3yo hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Apr.
Prince Of Vasa (IRE) 11-10fav (8-13) Made all, ridden and pressed over 1f out, stayed on under pressure final furlong, held on near finish, won at Wolverhampton 7f mdn auc stks (6) pol in Apr beating Lago Indiano (8-13) by nk, 7 ran.
Swiss Cross 8-1 (8-4) Raced stand's side, in touch, 13th of 19, 4 1/2l behind Mister Hughie (9-4) at Newmarket 6f 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Apr.
Thrust Control (IRE) 25-1 (9-4) In rear, ridden 2f out, kept on, never near leaders, 5th of 12, 3 1/2l behind Knightfire (8-9) at Wolverhampton 6f 3yo hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Apr.
Fivefold (USA) 13-8fav (8-9) Pulled hard, led after 1f, hard driven over 2f out, held on gamely, won at Lingfield 7f mdn stks (5) pol in Jan beating Monterosso (8-9) by shd, 9 ran.
Fireback 9-2 (9-3) Took keen hold, chased winner, ridden and every chance well over 1f out, driven over 1f out, no impression final furlong, clear 2nd best, 2nd of 9, 2 3/4l behind Bintalwaadi (8-12) at Lingfield 1m 3yo mdn auc stks (5) pol in Apr.
Alice Alleyne (IRE) 2-1fav (9-0) Quickly away, pulled hard, soon led, ridden and edged right final furlong, ran on well, won at Wolverhampton 7f 2yo mdn fll (5) pol in Oct beating Pictures (9-0) by 1 1/4l, 12 ran.
Warning Song (USA) 6-1 (9-3) Tracked leader, challenged 2f out, led soon after, headed over 1f out, no impression when not 2nd 1f out, 3rd of 14, 5l behind Mass Rally (9-3) at Kempton 7f 2yo mdn auc stks (5) pol in Nov.
Goodwood Maestro 20-1 (9-4) Held up mid-division, hard ridden and headway over 2f out, gradually weakened, 12th of 13, 17l behind Leviathan (9-1) at Doncaster 7f 2yo hcp (3) gs in Oct.
Candyfloss Girl 10-1 (8-10) Outpaced towards rear, pushed along over 2f out, ridden and headway on inside over 1f out, led inside final furlong, flashed tail but ran on under pressure until headed well inside final furlong, 2nd of 7, nk behind Lewyn (9-4) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Apr.
Be A Devil 2-1 (9-4) Held up in rear, chased leaders over 2f out, led final furlong, hard ridden inside final furlong, headed towards finish, 2nd of 5, nk behind New Christmas (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f 2yo hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Dec.
Tenacestream (CAN) 12-1 (8-9) Mid-division, ridden halfway, no impression, 8th of 12, 13l behind Horseradish (8-9) at Yarmouth 7f 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) gd in Apr.
Transfixed (IRE) 33-1 (8-7) Went right start, tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 14, 9l behind Duellist (9-0) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Apr.