This probably resolves around whether the southern hemisphere-bred pair LONG JOHN and Paximadia, both Group winners on Turf in Australia, take to the surface. The two Godolphin colts will be tuned up for a race which their owners love to win and the former, who appeared to find the 1m2f of the Cox Plate just too far after his earlier Group 1 victory, looks to have the strongest form. Their respective trainers are also represented by Emirates Flyer and Safety Check, who finished 1-2 in the trial for this a month ago when My Catch was a close-up third and Full Combat fifth. There's probably little between that quartet though the latter might improve enough to reverse positions. His trainer is also represented by the Yarmouth maiden winner Wednaan plus Jallota and Journeyman with Christophe Soumillon choosing the former.
Safety Check (IRE) 4-1 (8-8) 2nd of 14, 1/2l behind Emirates Flyer (8-8) at Meydan(UAE) 7f 3yo stks in Jan.
Jallota 25-1 (9-0) Tracked winner until ridden entering final 2f, faded final furlong, 7th of 10, 7l behind Astaire (9-0) at Newmarket 6f 2yo Grp 1 (1) gs in Oct.
Paximadia (AUS) (0-0) won at Caulfield(AUS) 1m Grp 2 in Nov, 0 ran.
Journeyman (SAF) 6-1 (9-4) 5th of 11, 3 1/2l behind He's No Saint (8-9) at Meydan(UAE) 7f con stks gd.
Wednaan 11-8fav (9-5) Held up in touch, headway over 2f out, went 2nd over 1f out, ridden to lead 1f out, green in front but stayed on and in command final 100 yards, won at Yarmouth 6f 2yo mdn (5) gd in Sep beating Silver Treasure (9-5) by 3/4l, 9 ran.
Long John (AUS) (7-11) 9th of 14, 8l behind Shamus Award (7-11) at Moonee Valley(AUS) 1m 2f fll stks Grp 1 in Oct.
My Catch (IRE) 12-1 (8-10) 3rd of 14, 3/4l behind Emirates Flyer (8-8) at Meydan(UAE) 7f 3yo stks in Jan.
Nezar (IRE) 10-1 (8-8) 11th of 14, 7l behind Emirates Flyer (8-8) at Meydan(UAE) 7f 3yo stks in Jan.
Asmar (IRE) 7-2 (8-8) 3rd of 14, 4 1/2l behind Zurbriggen (9-6) at Meydan(UAE) 7f mdn stks.
Emirates Flyer 5-2fav (8-8) won at Meydan(UAE) 7f 3yo stks in Jan beating Safety Check (8-8) by 1/2l, 14 ran.
Full Combat (SAF) 9-1 (9-4) 5th of 14, 3l behind Emirates Flyer (8-8) at Meydan(UAE) 7f 3yo stks in Jan.