Smoothtalkinrascal made a winning return in a competitive conditions race at Leicester and the form has a solid look with the runner-up having subsequently won. But whether he'll prove as effective on today's forecast fast ground is open to question and THE TAJ is just preferred. He ran out of steam over 6f on his reappearance but has every chance on last year's victory over the minimum trip at Ascot. Top Boy landed the odds as expected at Wolverhampton recently but will find this much tougher while Riskit Fora Biskit lost her unbeaten record on the Polytrack last time and is 1lb higher today. Haydock winner Barracuda Boy has decent claims on last year's best efforts and makes more appeal than New Fforest and Secret Missile while Equitania will do well to confirm recent running at Headquarters with the selection.
The Taj (USA) 12-1 (9-7) Close up, ridden over 1f out, no impression final furlong, 6th of 15, 6l behind Shahdaroba (8-10) at Newmarket 6f 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gd.
Smoothtalkinrascal (IRE) 7-1 (9-4) Dwelt in touch in rear, pushed along over 2f out, ridden and headway to chase leader over 1f out, soon every chance, pushed along and ran on to lead final strides, won at Leicester 6f con stks (3) gs beating Zanetto (9-4) by hd, 5 ran.
Top Boy 4-6fav (8-6) Tracked leader, led over 1f out, edged left inside final furlong, ridden and ran on, comfortable, won at Wolverhampton 5f mdn stks (5) pol in Mar beating Bapak Bangsawan (8-13) by 4l, 7 ran.
Jillnextdoor (IRE) 14-1 (8-4) Chased leaders, not clear run over 1f out, eased when no chance inside final furlong, 10th of 11, 5l behind Place In My Heart (9-0) at Bath 5f fll lst stks (1) gs.
Lasilia (IRE) 12-1 (8-12) Led, came towards stands side rail after 2f, headed well over 2f out, soon behind, eased final furlong, tailed off, last of 7, 33l behind Melody Of Love (8-12) at Ayr 6f 2yo fll Grp 3 (1) hvy in Sep.
Equitania 40-1 (8-7) Led, ridden and joined over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, no extra near finish, 3rd of 15, 2 1/4l behind Shahdaroba (8-10) at Newmarket 6f 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gd.
Lyric Ace (IRE) 33-1 (9-1) Tracked leaders over 5f out, ridden over 2f out, weakened final furlong, 11th of 12, 8l behind Teophilip (9-1) at Lingfield 7f Listed Stakes (3yo) (1) pol in Mar.
Normal Equilibrium 9-1 (9-6) Pulled hard, headway to lead approaching final 4f, saddle slipped and and soon clear, reduced lead over 1f out, headed and weakened inside final furlong, 7th of 16, 7l behind Professor (9-7) at Newbury 6f 2yo hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Sep.
Miss Diva 14-1 (8-12) Led main group and overall, ridden and headed inside final 2f, weakened inside final furlong, 4th of 10, 4l behind Rosdhu Queen (8-12) at Newbury 5f 2yo fll Listed stks (1) gd in Aug.
Ask The Guru 33-1 (9-4) Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, kept on one pace final furlong, 4th of 5, 7l behind Smoothtalkinrascal (9-4) at Leicester 6f con stks (3) gs.
Barracuda Boy (IRE) 14-1 (8-11) Chased leaders, ridden over 1f out, kept on, 7th of 19, 4l behind Hototo (9-2) at York 6f 2yo aut (2) gf in Aug.
New Fforest 4-1 (9-1) Not much room leaving stalls, towards rear on outside, closed 4f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 7, 2 1/2l behind Secret Look (8-10) at Chester 5f 2yo hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Sep.
Riskit Fora Biskit (IRE) 1-2fav (9-12) With leader, led over 1f out, soon hung left under pressure, headed inside final furlong, no extra, 2nd of 4, 3/4l behind Bold Prediction (9-7) at Wolverhampton 5f 3yo hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Mar.
Secret Missile 9-1 (9-2) Outpaced towards rear, headway over 1f out, ridden and ran on inside final furlong, not reach leaders, 7th of 11, 1 1/4l behind Mayfield Girl (9-1) at Nottingham 5f 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) gd.