A really spicy contest which sees a host of leading yards unveil unexposed sorts. However, matters are confused greatly by the fact that not a single member of the field has been seen on turf this season with practically all contenders returning from considerable winter breaks, whilst the absence of any soft-ground form merely serves to muddy the waters further. The Stoute yard is still searching for the first winner of the new campaign but their runners showed up really well at Newbury on Saturday and DUKE OF FIRENZE looked a real three-year-old in the making when scoring at Carlisle last term. He can get the stable off the mark for 2012 here. Basseterre's defeat of Scatter Dice back in January now reads very well and the Cape Cross colt could be very nicely treated and must be kept on the right side. Napoleon's Muse, from an in-form yard, Goodwood Atlantis and Al Mahmeyah all ended their juvenile careers with winning brackets and could well get involved in a race worthy of close attention.
Venetian View (IRE) 10-3fav (9-5) Towards rear, headway over 1f out, ridden inside final furlong, kept on towards finish, won at Kempton 1m 2yo hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Oct beating Jack Of Diamonds (8-12) by 1/2l, 9 ran.
Jack Who's He (IRE) 9-1 (9-2) Tracked leaders and keen, ridden 2f out, one pace inside final furlong, 7th of 14, 4l behind Strictly Silver (8-7) at Doncaster 7f 2yo hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Oct.
Sheikh The Reins (IRE) 5-4fav (9-3) Made all, ridden edged left over 1f out, ran on, won at Kempton 7f 2yo mdn stks (5) pol in Nov beating Royal Prospector (9-3) by 1/2l, 11 ran.
Tidal Way (IRE) 5-1 (8-13) Led 1f, chased winner, upsides from 4f out, ridden and still every chance from 2f out, outpaced to 3rd final 100 yards, last of 3, 1 1/2l behind Rougemont (8-13) at Leicester 1m 2f 2yo stks (3) gf in Oct.
Presburg (IRE) 13-2 (9-5) Slowly into stride, held up, pushed along over 3f out, effort over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 7, 8l behind Come On Blue Chip (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Mar.
Duke Of Firenze 4-6fav (9-3) Tracked leaders, not much room and switched right over 2f out, led over 1f out, readily (hand timed), won at Carlisle 6f 2yo mdn (5) gd in Aug beating Glamorous Angel (9-3) by 2l, 12 ran.
Ocean Tempest 7-2 (9-7) Soon led, ridden and hung badly right from well over 1f out, headed and no extra inside final furlong, 2nd of 5, 3l behind Flying Trader (8-9) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f 2yo hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Dec.
Goodwood Atlantis (IRE) 12-1 (9-2) Mid-division, steady headway 3f out, switched left inside final 2f, chased leaders over 1f out, ridden to lead final 150 yards, soon strongly pressed, just held on, won at Salisbury 7f 2yo mdn aut (5) gf in Aug beating Presburg (8-9) by shd, 14 ran.
Al Mahmeyah 9-4fav (9-0) Made all, shaken up over 1f out, ridden and stayed on well final furlong, won at Kempton 6f 2yo mdn fll (5) pol in Sep beating Riot of Colour (9-0) by 3/4l, 9 ran.
Napoleon's Muse (IRE) 14-1 (9-0) Led 1f, chased leader, ridden 2f out, rallied inside final furlong, stayed on under pressure closing stages to lead final strides, won at Kempton 7f 2yo mdn fll (5) pol in Sep beating Irishstone (9-0) by hd, 12 ran.
Basseterre (IRE) 2-1 (9-3) Slowly away, held up in rear, headway over 3f out, chased leaders over 2f out, led inside final furlong, ran on well, won at Lingfield 1m 3yo mdn stks (5) pol in Jan beating Scatter Dice (8-12) by 1l, 6 ran.
Perfect Delight 50-1 (9-0) Tracked leader until ridden over 2f out, weakened final furlong, 8th of 18, 7l behind Samitar (9-0) at Newmarket 7f 2yo flls auc (2) gf in Oct.
Paloma's Prince (IRE) 14-1 (9-3) Led, ridden and headed 1f out, kept on one pace, 3rd of 13, 4l behind Kiz Kulesi (9-3) at Newmarket 1m 2yo mdn (4) gd in Oct.
Dutch Master 3-1 (8-11) Tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, chased winner 1f out, kept on one pace and lost 2nd close home, 3rd of 7, 6l behind No Compromise (8-8) at Southwell 7f 2yo mdn auc stks (6) fbs in Nov.