Steuben, a Group-placed performer in Germany, began in handicaps at Ascot in May on a mark of 93 and is now 24lb lower after showing nothing on his last four starts. Minsky Mine was hurdling last winter and will be better for a recent run but The Ducking Stool's two victories on this track both came on very fast ground. DE RIGUEUR had some very good form in Germany and was having just his second start for Marco Botti when running away with a Haydock handicap on heavy ground last month. The assessor has reacted with a 9lb rise but he looks capable of winning off much higher marks and should complete the double. Despite his big weight, Layline is well handicapped on Turf compared to his all-weather mark though testing conditions won't aid his cause.
Layline (IRE) 33-1 (8-10) Steadied start held up towards rear, ridden and headway approaching final furlong, nearest finish, 4th of 8, 4 1/2l behind Rawaki (9-1) at Yarmouth 1m 3f hcp 0-90 (3) hvy.
Mediterranean Sea (IRE) 13-2 (9-6) Held up, ridden over 3f out, headway over 2f out, kept on to go 3rd inside final furlong, nearest finish, 3rd of 8, 6l behind Cape Safari (9-1) at Southwell 1m 6f hcp 0-80 (4) fbs in Aug.
Steuben (GER) 40-1 (9-13) Chased leaders, lost place inside final 7f, weakened over 5f out, soon lost touch, tailed off, last of 13, well behind Presto Volante (9-5) at Salisbury 1m 6f hcp 0-75 (5) sft.
De Rigueur 4-1fav (9-3) Chased leaders, went 2nd travelling well 2f out, led over 1f out, stayed on well, easily, won at Haydock 1m 4f hcp 0-70 (5) hvy in Sep beating Luctor Emergo (9-3) by 4l, 13 ran.
Minsky Mine (IRE) 25-1 (8-9) Raced wide with leaders 2f, taken back to be close up, headway over 2f out, ridden to chase winner final furlong, no chance, 2nd of 10, 9l behind Gala Casino Star (9-1) at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) gd in Aug.
The Ducking Stool 12-1 (11-4) In rear, headway 2f out, ridden and kept one pace final furlong, 4th of 12, 7l behind Follow The Flag (11-1) at Nottingham 1m 2f am hcp 0-70 (5) gs.
Lyric Poet (USA) 7-1 (10-10) Chased leaders, went 2nd halfway, ridden 3f out, soon edged left and lost 2nd, chased leaders, weakened well over 1f out, 6th of 12, 13l behind Swift Blade (11-5) at Goodwood 1m 3f am hcp (0-70) (4yo+) (5) gd in Sep.
Manshoor (IRE) 7-2 (9-9) In touch, ridden 4f out, weakened 2f out, 8th of 9, 25l behind Celtic Charlie (8-5) at Lingfield 1m 5f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Jan.
Darsan (IRE) 16-1 (8-6) Always in rear, 11th of 13, 16l behind Authoritarian (9-3) at Bath 1m hcp 0-65 (6) sft.
Balcary Bay 50-1 (9-3) Always towards rear, 11th of 15, 19l behind Viewpoint (9-3) at Nottingham 1m mdn stks (5) gs.