Despite being a seven-year-old JOHANNES continues to improve and he looks likely to get the strong pace he needs to win this, despite a 6lb rise, while Ziggy Lee and the Tim Easterby-trained pair Hamish McGonagall and Discanti are others with sizeable claims. The selection benefited from the sizzling pace that he needs to run on strongly and win here at the recent Dante meeting, when dropped back to this trip. His profile in recent races is of one still on the up, and with the yard still in cracking form he looks capable of defying the rise to follow-up. Ziggy Lee got the better of Brnyfa Boy by half-a-length at Newmarket last week and from 5lb higher has claims here, though the handicapper may just have him. Hamish McGonagall has been a standing dish in these races for the past couple of seasons but is now very hard to win with, even though he has dropped in the weights. Trip and ground are ideal for him and he would not be winning out of turn. Stablemate Discanti was not beaten far from this mark last time, and is also effective over the minimum trip, so he can't be ruled out, while Tabaret is also short-list material given his mark and preference for this distance. Invincible Lad is from a yard in good form and has to be respected, though Johannes is the one for us.
Johannes (IRE) 11-1 (9-3) Held up in touch, headway and edged right from over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, ran on, won at York 5f hcp 0-100 (2) gf beating Jaconet (9-0) by 1l, 16 ran.
Masta Plasta (IRE) 20-1 (9-6) Mid-division, lost place 2f out, soon weakened, last of 13, 13l behind Masamah (8-6) at Chester 5f hcp 0-105 (2) gd.
Sohraab 9-1 (8-13) Mid-division on outside, ridden 2f out, headway approaching final furlong, stayed on, not reached leaders, 5th of 13, 5l behind Masamah (8-6) at Chester 5f hcp 0-105 (2) gd.
Cheveton 10-1 (8-6) Chased leaders, ridden halfway, weakened over 1f out, 7th of 10, 8l behind Blue Jack (8-6) at Newbury 5f hcp (2) gd in Apr.
Hamish McGonagall 7-2fav (8-8) Chased leaders on outside, effort 2f out, ridden and stayed on to go 2nd inside final furlong, soon edged left, not reach winner, 2nd of 13, 2 1/4l behind Masamah (8-6) at Chester 5f hcp 0-105 (2) gd.
Kingdom Of Light 33-1 (9-0) With leaders far side group, led far side group 2f out, headed overall over 1f out, kept on same pace, 4th of 22, 5l behind Lucky Like (8-6) at Redcar 6f Lstd auc stks (1) gf in Oct.
Tabaret 10-1 (8-6) Behind, headway 2f out, ridden and effort when edged left over 1f out, kept on under pressure final furlong, 4th of 7, 2 1/4l behind Fol Hollow (8-12) at Thirsk 5f hcp 0-100 (2) gf.
Indian Trail 7-1 (9-4) Mid-division, ridden and outpaced 2f out, stayed on under pressure inside final furlong to go 3rd near finish, not reach winner, 3rd of 13, 1 1/2l behind Sirenuse (8-12) at Thirsk 5f hcp 0-85 (4) gf.
Rievaulx World 20-1 (8-11) Always struggling in rear, last of 16, 13l behind Johannes (9-3) at York 5f hcp 0-100 (2) gf.
Invincible Lad (IRE) 14-1 (8-6) Mid-division, soon pushed along, no impression, 9th of 20, 2 3/4l behind Quest For Success (8-10) at Doncaster 5f hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Oct.
Discanti (IRE) 9-4fav (9-1) Chased leaders, headway 2f out, ridden and every chance 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 1 3/4l behind Damika (9-0) at Thirsk 6f hcp 0-90 (3) gf.
River Falcon 10-1 (8-7) Soon pushed along in rear, ran on final furlong, nearest finish, 4th of 16, 3l behind Johannes (9-3) at York 5f hcp 0-100 (2) gf.
Ziggy Lee 8-1 (8-13) Held up in rear of the pace, headway over 1f out, led inside final furlong, ran on, won at Newmarket 5f hcp 0-80 (4) gf beating Brynfa Boy (8-9) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
Rasaman (IRE) 11-2 (8-12) Behind, driven and outpaced 2f out, never able to challenge, 8th of 13, 6l behind Sirenuse (8-12) at Thirsk 5f hcp 0-85 (4) gf.
Secret Millionaire (IRE) 28-1 (9-2) Keen, held up in touch, ridden 2f out, no impression, 6th of 9, 6l behind Rose Blossom (8-11) at York 5f con stks (2) gf.
Feelin Foxy 3-1 (9-4) Raced centre, chased leaders, ridden to challenge over 1f out, stayed on well, never reached winner, 2nd of 5, 1/2l behind La Capriosa (8-8) at Southwell 5f fll hcp (4) fbs.