Richard Hannon senior had a tremendous record in this, winning it seven times in the past 10 years including with Trumpet Major a year ago. The five-year-old didn't win again and was a bit disappointing on his reappearance in the race won by Contributer at Kempton so it could be Montiridge who carries the yard's main hopes after three victories last season, including one over this track and trip. However, he was put in his place by TOP NOTCH TONTO in a Haydock Group 3 and the winner then went to Ascot for the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes where he ran the race of his life to finish runner-up to Olympic Glory. Providing the ground remains on the soft side, Brian Ellison's charge has to be the selection. Penitent won this back in 2012 and is another who will relish the softer ground. He's also won on the track since though a moderate run in the Godolphin Mile at Meydan last month could have taken the edge off him. The only time Garswood tackled this trip was in the 2000 Guineas where he wasn't at his best and he's always looked as though he would be suited by the distance. Tullius was behind Penitent at Newmarket last summer and is worse off at the weights while Fire Ship was racing in class 5 handicaps before making great progress to land a Deauville Group 3.
Fire Ship 16-1 (9-1) 14th of 17, 7l behind Pollyana (8-11) at Longchamp(FR) 1m Grp 2 (1) sft in Oct.
Garswood 12-1 (8-13) 3rd of 11, 3 1/2l behind Moonlight Cloud (8-12) at Longchamp(FR) 7f Grp 1 (1) sft in Oct.
Montiridge (IRE) 5-2 (8-13) Raced centre, held up in rear, smooth headway over 2f out, chased winner approaching final furlong, kept on well, never able to challenge, 2nd of 7, 3 1/2l behind Soft Falling Rain (9-3) at Newmarket 1m Grp 2 (1) gf in Sep.
Penitent 16-1 (9-0) 14th of 15, 10l behind Variety Club (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 1m Group 2 sks (1) in Mar.
Top Notch Tonto (IRE) 14-1 (9-0) Tracked leaders in 5th, headway to chase leaders over 2f out, led 2f out, ridden and headed over 1f out, no chance with winner inside final furlong, stayed on gamely for 2nd, 2nd of 12, 3 1/2l behind Olympic Glory (9-0) at Ascot 1m Grp 1 (1) sft in Oct.
Trumpet Major (IRE) 9-4 (9-0) Close up, ridden and no impression over 2f out, weakened final furlong, 5th of 6, 7l behind Contributer (9-0) at Kempton 1m 2f Listed stks (1) pol in Mar.
Tullius (IRE) 7-1fav (9-7) Held up mid-division, headway over 2f out, chased winner 1f out, kept on and held towards finish, 2nd of 17, 1 3/4l behind Ocean Tempest (9-3) at Doncaster 1m hcp (4yo+) (2) sft in Mar.