This is usually an intriguing contest and this year's renewal is no different. It may be worth giving another chance to WITHOUT A PRAYER as Confront and Khateeb look vulnerable. Ordnance Row won this race last year by three quarters of a length on good to soft ground and a little rain would certainly be in his favour but this renewal looks stronger and he has something to find on recent efforts. Laa Rayb has always been talented but he proved a revelation in blinkers at Goodwood where he came with a storming late run to land the spoils. This race will be run at a different tempo and it remains to be seen whether he will face up to them again so he's opposable on that basis. A penalty is enough to oppose Mac Love whilst Orizaba had no excuses when held by Khateeb at Pontefract and reopposes on just 1lb better terms. Khateeb may be able to build on that but he still has something to find on the book with Confront who chased home Aqlaam in a Group 2 at Ascot last time with Without A Prayer and Ordnance Row behind. That run from the Stoute horse is hard to fault but there have been times when he has seemingly been tapped for toe at this trip so we're willing to take him on and will do so with Ralph Beckett's runner. He wouldn't be the first horse to bounce back from a poor display at Ascot so we're happy enough to take a chance and overlook that disappointment and look back to his Listed win at Windsor where he had Laa Rayb and Ordnance Row behind. That display proved that he has the tactical speed for these races and that he isn't Without A Prayer in this contest.
Mac Love 33-1 (9-0) Held up in rear, pushed along and struggling over 3f out, tailed off, last of 9, 46l behind Paco Boy (9-0) at Royal Ascot 1m Grp 1 (1) gf in Jun.
Confront 12-1 (9-1) Tracked leader, led over 2f out, soon ridden, headed inside final furlong, kept on, 2nd of 7, 1/2l behind Aqlaam (9-1) at Ascot 1m Grp 2 stks (1) gf in Jul.
Khateeb (IRE) 13-2 (9-1) Tracked leaders, chased leader 2f out, ridden, edged left and led over 1f out, hung left and asserted towards finish, won at Pontefract 1m Listed stks (1) gd in Jul beating Orizaba (8-7) by 1 3/4l, 9 ran.
Laa Rayb (USA) 25-1 (9-6) Slowly into stride, held up in rear, good run on inside rail over 3f out, tracking leaders and going strongly when switched left 2f out, led over 1f out, driven clear final 1f, kept on strongly, won at Goodwood 1m hcp (2) gd in Jul beating Spectait (8-9) by 2 1/4l, 19 ran.
Ordnance Row 25-1 (9-1) Held up in touch, under presssure over 2f out, soon weakened, last of 7, 19l behind Aqlaam (9-1) at Ascot 1m Grp 2 stks (1) gf in Jul.
Without A Prayer (IRE) 12-1 (9-1) Chased leaders, lost place well over 2f out, 6th of 7, 13l behind Aqlaam (9-1) at Ascot 1m Grp 2 stks (1) gf in Jul.
Orizaba (IRE) 15-8fav (8-7) Led, ridden and headed over 1f out, one pace final furlong, 2nd of 9, 1 3/4l behind Khateeb (9-1) at Pontefract 1m Listed stks (1) gd in Jul.