William Haggas won this last year and Kevin Ryan took the previous two. The former is represented by the once-raced Valley Of Fire, who just got up in a tight finish over the course and distance last month, while the easy Newcastle winner Gaudy represents Ryan along with Fast Act and it's the latter who spearheads a strong Yorkshire challenge. Third behind Tiggy Wiggy in the Super Sprint at Newbury, he found Cotai Glory just too strong in the Molecomb at Goodwood but should get into the frame. Richard Fahey won it with Wootton Bassett in 2010 and is triple-handed this time. In his sportinglife.com column he suggests Tachophobia may have the call over Vimy Ridge and Winstanley but is realistic enough to know they are probably playing for a place at best. The Hannon yard won this with Elnawin in 2008 and hold a strong hand this time. Flyball has a lot to do but Sawaahel created a good impression at Newmarket and will have improved for the experience. However, it's impossible to overlook the claims of KOOL KOMPANY, already a dual Group 2 winner who was just outpaced by Dick Whittington in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh, form that would be good enough for this. Mukhmal and Irish raider Kasbah have each-way chances though both will need significant improvement.
Kool Kompany (IRE) 8-11fav (9-3) Chased leader, 3rd halfway, ridden and switched right under 2f out, challenged 1f out, soon narrow lead and disputed, headed final 100 yards, no extra close home, just held 2nd, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Dick Whittington (9-3) at Curragh 6f 2yo Grp 1 (1) sft.
Mukhmal (IRE) 7-1 (9-1) Tracked leaders, ridden over 1f out, stayed on to take 4th inside final furlong, no impression with front trio, 4th of 8, 2 1/4l behind Cotai Glory (9-1) at Goodwood 5f 2yo Grp 3 (1) gf in Jul.
Arthur Martinleake (IRE) 8-13fav (9-5) Tracked leader, ridden to lead over 1f out, edged left and pushed clear inside final furlong, won at Yarmouth 6f 2yo mdn (5) gs beating Quite Smart (9-0) by 3l, 7 ran.
Fast Act (IRE) 10-1 (9-1) Went right start, soon in touch, hung right virtually throughout on outside, ridden and effort over 1f out, every chance inside final furlong, kept on, just held towards finish, 2nd of 8, 1/2l behind Cotai Glory (9-1) at Goodwood 5f 2yo Grp 3 (1) gf in Jul.
Flyball 50-1 (9-3) Chased leaders, ridden and weakened over 1f out, 22nd of 24, 14l behind Hootenanny (9-3) at Royal Ascot 5f 2yo lst stk (1) gd in Jun.
Gaudy (IRE) 9-2 (8-9) Tracked leader, pushed along over 2f out, led over 1f out, kept on strongly, eased towards finish, won at Newcastle 7f 2yo mdn aut (4) gf in Jul beating Ythan Waters (8-13) by 3l, 10 ran.
Gerry The Glover (IRE) 6-4fav (8-13) Chased leaders, headway over 1f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, led towards finish, kept on well, won at Beverley 5f 2yo mdn aut (5) gd in Jul beating Dad's Girl (8-4) by 1 1/2l, 14 ran.
Kasbah (IRE) 25-1 (9-3) Held up in rear, ridden and no impression 2f out, no extra over 1f out, 5th of 6, 8l behind Dick Whittington (9-3) at Curragh 6f 2yo Grp 1 (1) sft.
Marcano (IRE) 9-5fav (9-5) Made all, hard ridden over 1f out, stayed on well, won at Salisbury 7f 2yo mdn (4) gf in Jun beating Harlequin Striker (9-5) by 2 1/4l, 10 ran.
Markaz (IRE) 11-4fav (9-3) Slowly into stride, held up last, switched right to centre halfway, good progress son after, chased leaders over 1f out, went 2nd inside final furlong, closed on winner near finish, just held, 2nd of 12, 1/2l behind Son Of Africa (9-1) at Goodwood 6f 2yo hcp (2) gf.
Mubtaghaa (IRE) 13-2 (9-0) Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, weakened final furlong, 8th of 12, 8l behind Ivawood (9-0) at Newmarket 6f 2yo Grp 2 (1) gf in Jul.
Roudee 7-4fav (9-1) Led until 2f out, weakened approaching final furlong, 4th of 5, 8l behind Mattmu (9-1) at Chester 6f 2yo stks (2) gs.
Sawaahel 7-2 (9-5) Made all, challenged from over 1f out, ridden and ran on gamely, won at Newmarket 6f 2yo mdn (4) gf beating Swot (9-5) by shd, 8 ran.
Tachophobia 66-1 (8-11) Towards rear far side, ridden 2f out, never on terms, 17th of 24, 15l behind Tiggy Wiggy (9-1) at Newbury 5f 2yo auc (2) gd in Jul.
Ticks The Boxes (IRE) 11-4 (9-1) Tracked leaders, effort over 1f out, kept on same pace final furlong, 3rd of 5, 3 1/2l behind Mattmu (9-1) at Chester 6f 2yo stks (2) gs.
Union Rose 25-1 (9-1) Tracked winner, ridden inside final 2f, lost place 1f out, no impression when lost 4th inside final furlong, 5th of 8, 3 1/2l behind Cotai Glory (9-1) at Goodwood 5f 2yo Grp 3 (1) gf in Jul.
Valley of Fire 9-2 (9-5) Tracked leaders, driven and outpaced 2f out, switched left 1f out, ridden and stayed on inside final furlong, challenged towards finish, led post, won at York 6f 2yo mdn aut (4) gf in Jul beating Fingal's Cave (9-5) by ns, 9 ran.
Vimy Ridge 13-2 (9-2) Held up towards rear, headway near side 2f out, ridden and hung right over 1f out, soon weakened, 9th of 12, 8l behind Son Of Africa (9-1) at Goodwood 6f 2yo hcp (2) gf.
Winstanley (IRE) 10-3 (9-0) Chased leader, ridden and effort inside final 2f, kept on same pace, no impression inside final furlong, 7th of 13, 4l behind Misleading (9-0) at Goodwood 6f 2yo mdn (2) gf in Jul.
New Providence 15-2 (9-0) Tracked leaders, driven and outpaced inside final 2f, soon ridden, stayed on under pressure inside final furlong, went 3rd towards finish, no impression with front pair, 3rd of 17, 2l behind Zifena (8-12) at Newmarket 6f 2yo fll hcp (2) fm.