Alan Swinbank has been keen to use former Irish champion apprentice Ben Curtis when available and he takes the ride on the hat-trick-seeking LOTHAIR. A double penalty will make life tough but the four-year-old has finally got his act together having been beaten in sellers earlier in the year and there is only 12lb between the top weight and those at the foot of the weights. Bix has 6lb extra after beating Annie Gogh by half-a-length at Hamilton while Black Douglas has been raised 4lb since his course and distance win three weeks ago. The latter's trainer, Jim Goldie, also runs Monel and Music Festival but Novalist failed to land a gamble at Yarmouth last month and this is more competitive.
Lothair (IRE) 6-4fav (10-7) Close up, led over 1f out, driven out, won at Hamilton 6f am hcp 0-65 (6) gf beating Compton Heights (10-6) by 1 1/2l, 9 ran.
Fleurtille 33-1 (9-5) Tracked leader, every chance 2f out, soon lost place, 5th of 9, 8l behind Sherzam (9-0) at Newcastle 7f 3yo & 4yo mdn (5) gf in Aug.
Monel 5-1 (8-10) Bumped start, held up towards rear, ridden over 1f out, soon weakened, last of 7, 15l behind Circuitous (9-12) at Ayr 7f hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Aug.
The Kicking Lord 11-2 (9-7) Taken to post early, raced wide mid-division, headway halfway, ridden and switched left over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 6th of 11, 4l behind Coach Montana (9-0) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp (0-55) (6) pol in Nov.
Mr Man In The Moon (IRE) 6-1 (9-7) Led, hard pressed from 2f out, headed over 1f out, faded, 3rd of 7, 4 1/2l behind Imaginary Diva (9-6) at Yarmouth 5f hcp 0-55 (6) gf in Aug.
Annie Gogh 3-1fav (9-7) Slowly away raced stand side, recovered to chase leader after 1f, ridden and every chance when edged right over 1f out, hung left approaching final furlong, ran on, 2nd of 8, 1/2l behind Bix (8-13) at Hamilton 6f 3yo hcp 0-60 (6) gf in Aug.
Black Douglas 9-2 (8-10) Close up, ridden entering final furlong, ran on to lead final strides, won at Newcastle 6f hcp 0-65 (6) gs in Aug beating One Kool Dude (9-1) by nk, 7 ran.
Music Festival (USA) 7-1 (8-2) Towards rear, headway over 3f out, pushed along over 2f out, ridden and every chance over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 4th of 13, 3 1/2l behind Red Paladin (9-2) at Doncaster 7f hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Aug.
Mysterious Wonder 7-4fav (9-3) Mid-division, headway over 1f out, never on terms, 5th of 7, 6l behind John Coffey (9-6) at Newcastle 6f app hcp (6) gf in Aug.
Baybshambles (IRE) 33-1 (8-7) Reared start, outpaced behind, 9th of 10, 10l behind Captain Royale (9-7) at Catterick 5f hcp 0-65 (6) gd in Aug.
Bix (IRE) 9-1 (8-13) Led centre group until overall leader over 1f out, ridden and ran on, won at Hamilton 6f 3yo hcp 0-60 (6) gf in Aug beating Annie Gogh (9-7) by 1/2l, 8 ran.
Tony Hollis 33-1 (9-0) Chased leaders, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace, 5th of 14, 6l behind Dhhamaan (9-4) at Catterick 7f hcp 0-60 (6) gd in Aug.
Graceful Act 14-1 (9-12) Raced wide in touch, ridden over 2f out, kept on same pace, 6th of 9, 7l behind Silly Billy (9-5) at Beverley 1m am hcp 0-65 (6) gf in Aug.
Ursus 80-1 (8-10) Prominent, led over 4f out, ridden and headed over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 8th of 10, 9l behind Glenridding (9-2) at Thirsk 7f hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Aug.
Novalist 9-4fav (9-0) With leader, every chance 2f out, weakened over 1f out, last of 7, 8l behind Imaginary Diva (9-6) at Yarmouth 5f hcp 0-55 (6) gf in Aug.
Lees Anthem 20-1 (8-12) Mid-division, pushed along and outpaced over 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, 8th of 12, 7l behind Scentpastparadise (9-7) at Redcar 6f hcp 0-65 (6) gd in Jul.