Royal Skies and Shrewd finished practically upsides at Ascot last time though neither looked like winning. The latter is better off on today's terms with an apprentice's allowance taken into account and should figure while Battalion won a maiden race at Ripon last month and may improve past Red Runaway on his handicap debut. THOMAS HOBSON is progressing nicely and landed a double when scoring at Newbury. John Gosden's colt will need to improve again but won well in soft ground earlier and a hat trick looks on the cards.
Royal Skies (IRE) 14-1 (9-6) Keen early, pressed leader, challenged 2f out, kept on and every chance until one pace inside final furlong, faded final 100 yards, 9th of 14, 4l behind Excellent Result (9-0) at Ascot 1m 4f Handicap (Heritage) (3yo) (2) gd.
Shrewd 20-1 (8-9) Behind, ridden 2f out, never dangerous, 10th of 14, 4 1/2l behind Excellent Result (9-0) at Ascot 1m 4f Handicap (Heritage) (3yo) (2) gd.
Thomas Hobson 9-4fav (9-6) Tracked leader, led over 2f out, headed over 1f out, stayed on strongly to lead again well inside final furlong, ridden out, won at Newbury 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) gd in Aug beating Jabhaat (9-6) by 1/2l, 8 ran.
Battalion (IRE) 5-6fav (9-3) Tracked leader 2f, tracked leaders, led on bit approaching final 3f, ran on, comfortable, eased towards finish, won at Ripon 1m 4f mdn stks (5) gs in Aug beating Certification (9-3) by 4 1/2l, 4 ran.
Red Runaway 14-1 (8-2) In touch in rear, pushed along 5f out, ridden and headway over 2f out, weakened and edged left over 1f out, 6th of 7, 9l behind Nearly Caught (8-8) at Haydock 1m 6f 3yo hcp (2) gs.