It would have been preferable had PATKAI had an outing this season but Sir Michael Stoute's charge defied an absence to make a winning reappearance last season and he can repeat the dose. Admittedly, this is tougher than the Ascot Group 3 that he picked up in April last year but he should still be able to outclass this opposition and connections are sure to have left little to chance. Tastahil is the next highest rated runner but Richard Hills prefers Akmal who recorded back to back successes here in October last year and is at his best when allowed to dominate. That seems unlikely given that Lady Hestia and Lady Eclair have both cut out the running in the past and it may be that Motrice and Snoqualmie Girl are better suited by the run of the race.
Akmal 11-2 (9-4) Led, inclined to edge right off rail back straight, ridden and headed 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 8, 6l behind Opinion Poll (9-1) at York 2m Grp 2 (1) gd in Aug.
Buxted (IRE) 11-1 (9-4) Tracked leaders, pushed along over 4f out, weakened over 2f out, 8th of 9, 19l behind Laaheb (9-4) at Kempton 1m 4f Group 3 stks (3yo+) (1) pol in Sep.
Patkai (IRE) 9-2 (9-0) Took keen hold, held up in 6th, steady heaway over 3f out, went 4 lengths 2nd and hung right over 2f out, driven and no impression on winner over 1f out, 2nd of 9, 3 1/2l behind Yeats (9-2) at Royal Ascot 2m 4f Grp 1 (1) gf in Jun '09.
Tastahil (IRE) 13-8fav (9-3) Led and stayed wide just off inside rail throughout, joined 2f out, kept narrow advantage until headed over 1f out, stayed on, not pace of winner inside final furlong, 4th of 7, 1 3/4l behind Fictional Account (8-12) at Ascot 2m Listed stks (1) gs in Sep.
Bramalea 20-1 (10-13) Tracked leaders, tracked leader 8f out, led 6f out, clear 3f out, eased final furlong, won at Ascot 1m 4f am hcp 0-80 (4) gs in Sep beating Switched Off (11-4) by 13l, 15 ran.
Lady Eclair (IRE) 20-1 (9-11) In touch, ridden over 1f out, kept on final furlong, 4th of 16, 3 1/2l behind Precision Break (9-7) at Doncaster 1m 7f hcp 0-110 (2) gd in Sep.
Lady Hestia (USA) 7-1 (10-0) Made all, ridden 2f out, held on well, won at Thirsk 2m hcp 0-80 (4) gf in Aug beating Blazing Desert (9-9) by 1l, 5 ran.
Snoqualmie Girl (IRE) 33-1 (9-3) Tracked leader, led over 2f out, ridden and headed 1f out, kept on, 3rd of 10, 2l behind Polly's Mark (9-3) at Ascot 1m 4f fll lst stks (1) gd in Sep.
Motrice 4-1 (7-12) Held up in rear, headway and edged left over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 1 1/2l behind Samuel (9-1) at Doncaster 2m 2f Grp 2 (1) gd in Sep.