David Barron won the Golden Rose Stakes here with Jaconet before taking this contest last year and follows the same path with HITCHENS. The latter needed only to be pushed out to win the Golden Rose on his latest start, which was fortunate for jockey Graham Gibbons as he dropped his whip a furlong out, and he looks capable of following up. It's difficult to see Brave Prospector, Arganil or Angel's Pursuit turning the tables with the selection, but Anne Of Kiev is a progressive sprinter and she claimed the scalps of subsequent winners Five Star Junior and Breathless Kiss over C&D last month. Irish raider Duff usually runs well here and has place claims.
Hitchens (IRE) 11-4fav (9-2) Tracked leaders, always travelling well, driven to challenge over 1f out, every chance when rider lost whip inside final furlong, soon led, driven out, won at Lingfield 6f Listed stks (1) pol in Nov beating Enact (8-11) by 1l, 12 ran.
Angel's Pursuit (IRE) 3-1fav (9-4) In touch, ridden over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 4th of 13, 2 1/4l behind Spirit Of Sharjah (9-4) at Kempton 7f Listed stks (1) pol in Dec.
Arganil (USA) 3-1 (9-7) Outpaced, headway 2f out, ridden and every chance from over 1f out, swished tail and led towards finish, won at Southwell 5f hcp 0-95 (3) fbs in Jan beating Waveband (9-3) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
Beauchamp Viceroy 11-4fav (9-7) Soon led, joined 2f out, kept slight advantage until ridden and headed over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 4th of 9, 5l behind Bravo Echo (9-2) at Kempton 1m 4yo stk (4) pol in Jan.
Brave Prospector 6-4fav (9-7) Held up in last, headway 2f out, soon switched right, led inside final furlong, ran on well, won at Wolverhampton 6f cnd stks (4yo+) (4) pol beating Piscean (9-2) by 2 1/4l, 6 ran.
Duff (IRE) 11-2 (9-2) Tracked leader, challenged over 2f out, led over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, lost 2nd towards finish, 3rd of 13, 1 1/4l behind Spirit Of Sharjah (9-4) at Kempton 7f Listed stks (1) pol in Dec.
Elna Bright 14-1 (9-4) Mid-division, effort on inside over 1f out, one pace final furlong, 9th of 12, 2 1/4l behind Night Lily (8-13) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-95 (3) pol.
Five Star Junior (USA) 5-1 (9-4) In touch travelling well, headway 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, ran on, won at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-95 (3) pol beating Star Rover (9-2) by 3/4l, 12 ran.
Joe Packet 13-2 (8-11) Always in rear, ridden halfway, 7th of 8, 4 1/2l behind Tangerine Trees (8-12) at Newmarket 5f Listed stks (1) sft in Sep.
Anne of Kiev (IRE) 9-2 (9-6) Dwelt, held up, switched right to outside over 1f out, strong run inside final furlong, led last stride, won at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Jan beating Five Star Junior (9-4) by shd, 8 ran.
Breathless Kiss (USA) 7-1 (9-2) Dwelt, in touch in rear, good headway chase leader 2f out, led approaching final furlong, quickened clear, comfortably, won at Lingfield 5f hcp 0-85 (4) pol beating Sir Geoffrey (9-7) by 4 1/2l, 6 ran.
Waveband 6-4fav (9-3) Led under stand side rail, ridden 2f out, edged left thoughout final furlong, headed towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Arganil (9-7) at Southwell 5f hcp 0-95 (3) fbs in Jan.