The ground needs to soften for top-weight Mutajarred to be a major player, and from a shortlist of Moonquake, Sweet Lightning, Alazeyab and DEEP WINTER, it is the last-named who can complete a hat-trick of wins in this race for trainer Richard Fahey. One problem may be that Mr Fahey has three in the line-up so if you're backing one you should probably back the other two as well as in the last two years it has been hard to split his runners. This filly Deep Winter was very progressive last season and although she is yet to win this year, it means that her handicap mark has dipped slightly. She is effective on any ground and should give backers a good run for their money. Sweet Lightning was well-fancied by connections earlier in the year but he then trod on a stone and was set back a bit; it will be interesting to hear how bullish his trainer is of his chances with the yard in good form. Ra Junior has stamina to prove as he steps up in trip; he hasn't been seen since Nad Al Sheba in March. Seeking The Buck has had a good season; he has been brought back from an injury with real panache by his new yard and cannot be overlooked. Alazeyab bounced back to form last time out and he has proven form in a big field before, Ben Chorley is a talented front-runner but his best efforts have come on soft ground, whilst Sirvino is progressing well and he cannot be overlooked despite an 8lb higher mark as he chases the five-timer. Kingdom Of Fife and Unbreak My Heart are linked on their run in the Zetland Gold Cup where the former came out on top, whilst Nanton was second in that race and his subsequent effort in the Royal Hunt Cup reads well. Riggins is progressing well; he has had his injury problems but he may not be badly treated off 96 and if he gets this longer trip then from his good low draw he must go close. Moonquake holds several of these on his win here in May and he then ran a blinder off this mark in the Wolferton Handicap although he will struggle to get an easy lead from this car park draw. As open a handicap as you're likely to find all season, but it is Deep Winter who we fancy to come out on top.
Mutajarred 10-1 (9-2) In touch, ridden over 2f out, soon weakened, 8th of 11, 12l behind With Interest (9-2) at Newmarket 1m 2f Listed stks (1) gs in Nov.
Moonquake (USA) 11-2 (9-0) Soon led, strongly pressed from 2f out, kept on gamely and held narrow advantage until worn down well inside final furlong, 2nd of 15, nk behind Perfect Stride (9-5) at Royal Ascot 1m 2f Listed hcp (1) gf in Jun.
Re Barolo (IRE) 14-1 (8-13) Held up in rear, switched left to wide outside 2f out, stayed on down outside from over 1f out but not reach leaders, 4th of 15, 2 1/2l behind Perfect Stride (9-5) at Royal Ascot 1m 2f Listed hcp (1) gf in Jun.
Kingdom of Fife 9-4fav (9-0) Made virtually all, soon led, ridden over 2f out, quickened clear over 1f out, kept on, won at Redcar 1m 2f hcp 105 (2) gf in May beating Nanton (9-0) by 2 1/2l, 15 ran.
Riggins (IRE) 4-6fav (9-3) Chased leaders, ridden to challenge 2f out, led inside final furlong, readily, won at Goodwood 1m hcp 0-90 (3) gd in May beating Mujood (8-9) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Ladies Best 9-1 (8-12) Held up in touch, kept on same pace final furlong, 4th of 9, 13l behind Allied Powers (9-0) at Hamilton 1m 4f (1) gd in May.
Albaqaa 10-1 (9-7) Held up, headway on outside over 2f out, ridden and stayed on to chase winner inside final furlong, held towards finish, 2nd of 20, nk behind Kavachi (9-2) at York 1m 1f hcp 105 (2) gd in Jun.
Nanton (USA) 16-1 (8-6) Raced stands side, held up in rear, headway over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, never nearer, 4th of 25, 4 1/2l behind Forgotten Voice (9-1) at Royal Ascot 1m (2) gf in Jun.
Love Galore (IRE) 16-1 (8-11) Slowly into stride, raced keenly in rear, pushed along over 3f out, no chance final 2f, 13th of 15, 28l behind Red Merlin (8-10) at Haydock 1m 4f hcp (2) gf.
Laterly (IRE) 16-1 (8-11) Soon led, clear 9f out, headed well over 1f out, weakening when hampered inside final furlong, 9th of 15, 12l behind Red Merlin (8-10) at Haydock 1m 4f hcp (2) gf.
Unbreak My Heart (IRE) 8-1 (9-1) Held up, headway on inner over 2f out, stayed on final furlong, 6th of 15, 4 1/2l behind Kingdom Of Fife (9-0) at Redcar 1m 2f hcp 105 (2) gf in May.
Sirvino 2-1fav (9-8) Tracked leaders and always going well, led over 1f out, ridden out, won at Ayr 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in May beating Hillview Boy (9-3) by 1 1/4l, 9 ran.
Jaser 15-2 (8-12) Always towards rear, 15th of 23, 19l behind Extraterrestrial (8-12) at Newbury 1m hcp (2) sft in Apr.
Medici Pearl 16-1 (9-5) Held up behind, headway when not clear run over 1f out, switched right and stayed on well inside final furlong, nearest finish, 3rd of 8, 7l behind Lady Jane Digby (9-5) at Newcastle 1m 2f fll lst stks (1) gf in Jun.
Ben Chorley 15-2 (9-2) In touch, headway to chase leader over 2f out, soon ridden, lost place over 1f out, no extra final furlong, 5th of 12, 4 1/2l behind The Osteopath (9-1) at Newcastle 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gf in Jun.
Alazeyab (USA) 6-1 (8-12) Made all, ridden 2f out, found extra when challenged inside final furlong, won at Newmarket 1m 2f hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Jun beating Wintercast (9-5) by 1l, 7 ran.
Seeking The Buck (USA) Evensfav (10-0) Held up, headway 2f out, soon ridden, stayed on under pressure to chase winner inside final furlong, held when edged left towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Shavansky (9-4) at Lingfield 1m 2f hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Jun.
Ra Junior (USA) 25-1 (8-8) Slowly away; settled in rear; never near to challenge, 9th of 13, 26l behind Regal Ransom (8-8) at Nad Al Sheba(UAE) 1m 1f Group 2 sks 3yo+ (1) in Mar.
Deep Winter 16-1 (8-9) Raced centre, in touch, ridden and joined stands side group 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 14th of 15, 10l behind Confront (9-10) at Newmarket 1m 1f hcap (2) gf in May.
Sweet Lightning 11-1 (8-9) Towards rear, headway when not clear run from 2f out, switched left and ran on strongly inside final furlong, not reach leaders, 6th of 20, 6l behind Duncan (9-7) at Epsom Downs 1m 2f hcp 0-95 (2) gd in Apr.