There are five last-time-out winners here but we'll take them all on with RAQEEB. Sparkling Smile and Grey Bunting head the list of dangers. Sir Michael Stoute's charge is a well bred individual who rates much better than the form of his third last time. That qualified him for a handicap mark and we're hopeful connections have found the right race following what was a good effort, as he matched strides with potentially smart Cultivar for a long way before succumbing late on. His debut form has been franked too and we're of the opinion that 77 is a fair mark. Sparkling Smile has rather less questions to answer having landed a pair of handicaps. Clearly he's in grand form but the horse was workmanlike rather than impressive last time and this 4lb higher mark may find him out; perhaps a step up to 1m4f will be the key to unlocking further progress. Grey Bunting is another who will surely stay further although it's hard to crab his winning performance last time, albeit the race wasn't a strong one. Barry Hills' charge is hard to assess as the form of the contest hasn't been tested but the yard are going well. Valiant Knight is interesting up just 2lbs for a ready success at Windsor; he clearly relished stepping up to this distance, in keeping with his pedigree. Mecox Bay was arguably fortunate to win at Folkestone but hasn't been harshly rated by the handicapper and should continue to run well but may find one or two too good, with Raqeeb the pick.
Kensei (IRE) 7-1 (9-3) Tracked leaders, joined leader going well over 2f out, shaken up to lead over 1f out, ridden clear, won at Sandown 1m 2f 3yo mdn (5) gf beating Out Of Eden (9-3) by 2 3/4l, 15 ran.
Valiant Knight (FR) 5-1 (8-13) Tracked leaders, progress when not clear run over 1f out, switched left to challenge, led inside final furlong, ridden clear, ran on well, won at Windsor 1m 2f mdn auc stks (5) gf in May beating Soviet Secret (8-13) by 1 1/2l, 10 ran.
Street Entertainer (IRE) 16-1 (9-3) Raced wide towards rear, headway on outside 4f out, chased leaders 3f out, ridden 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 12, 9l behind Berling (9-2) at Newbury 1m 3f 3yo hcp 0-80 (4) gf in May.
Grey Bunting 2-1fav (8-13) Restless in stalls, soon tracked leaders, went 2nd 3f out, led 2f out, shaken up and clear over 1f out, stayed on well, won at Redcar 1m 2f mdn stks (5) gd beating Music City (8-13) by 2 1/4l, 10 ran.
Raqeeb (USA) 11-2 (9-0) Chased leaders,chased winner 5f out, ridden to challenge over 2f out, no impression over 1f out, weakened to 3rd well inside final furlong, 3rd of 12, 3 1/2l behind Cultivar (9-0) at Haydock 1m 2f mdn stks (5) gf in May.
Sparkling Smile (IRE) 8-15fav (9-5) Held up in touch, headway on inner 4f out, ridden to lead over 1f out, soon edged right, driven out, won at Redcar 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Apr beating Gritstone (9-4) by 3/4l, 5 ran.
Mecox Bay (IRE) 5-1 (8-13) Tracked leader, led 2f out, edged left soon after, narrowly headed over 1f out, rallied gamely to regain lead post, won at Folkestone 1m 2f mdn auc stks (5) gf beating Cockney (8-13) by shd, 10 ran.
Shades Of Grey 33-1 (9-7) Chased leaders, pushed along 4f out, ridden 3f out, driven to join winner inside final furlong, not quicken near finish, 2nd of 12, nk behind Comedy Act (9-10) at Leicester 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-65 (6) gd.