held up in last pair, pushed along and headway on inside over 2f out, squeezed through narrow gap to 3rd inside final furlong, chased leader final 100 yards, stayed on gamely to lead final 50 yards
Fame And Glory beat Opinion Poll in last year's inaugural running but the younger stayers look to have caught up with them this season. Last year's third, Colour Vision, has already taken his revenge with victory in the Ascot Gold Cup in June and he also finished a length ahead of Goodwood Cup winner Saddler's Rock when third in heavy ground at Longchamp last time. The latter pair look sure to be in contention again but today's conditions could prove ideal for AIKEN. He was a close-up fourth in a blanket finish of the Irish St Leger last month and the last time he raced in genuinely soft ground, John Gosden's colt won a Listed event over 1m4f at this track by 10 lengths. With the 2m trip expected to suit, he gets the nod. Askar Tau, Ile De Re and Electrolyser look likely to come up short in this company but 2010 Ascot Gold Cup hero Rite Of Passage is not easily dismissed despite returning from a lengthy absence.
Aiken 9-2 (9-11) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden entering straight, kept on under pressure and every chance well inside final furlong, no impression and lost 2 places close home, 4th of 9, 1/2l behind Royal Diamond (9-11) at Curragh 1m 6f Grp 1 (1) in Sep.
Askar Tau (FR) 12-1 (9-1) Tracked leaders, ridden over 1f out, no extra towards finish, 6th of 10, 2 3/4l behind Times Up (9-1) at Doncaster 2m 2f Grp 2 (1) gd in Sep.
Colour Vision (FR) 7-2 (9-2) 3rd of 11, 3l behind Molly Malone (8-12) at Longchamp(FR) 2m 4f Grp 1 (1) gs.
Electrolyser (IRE) 9-2 (9-10) Led, ridden 2f out, headed inside final furlong, held towards finish, 2nd of 5, 1l behind Quest For Peace (9-12) at Goodwood 1m 6f Listed stks 3yo (1) gs in Aug.
Fame And Glory 11-4fav (9-11) Led, ridden 2f out and headed 150 yards out, no extra, 6th of 9, 2 1/2l behind Royal Diamond (9-11) at Curragh 1m 6f Grp 1 (1) in Sep.
Ile De Re (FR) 5-2fav (9-3) Held up mid-division, tracked leaders on outer halfway, led over 4f out, ridden over 2f out, under pressure final furlong, stayed on well towards finish, won at Newcastle 2m hcp (2) hvy in Jun beating Crackentorp (9-0) by 1/2l, 16 ran.
Opinion Poll (IRE) 5-1 (9-2) Held up in touch, headway 2f out, chased leaders over 1f out, led narrowly and bumped twice inside final furlong, no extra and headed towards finish, 2nd of 9, 1/2l behind Colour Vision (9-0) at Royal Ascot 2m 4f Grp 1 (1) gs in Jun.
Rite Of Passage 9-2 (9-8) Chased leaders, pushed along in closer 3rd under 4f out, challenged in 2nd over 1f out, dropped to 3rd and kept on without matching 1st 2 inside final furlong, 3rd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Fame And Glory (9-8) at Leopardstown 1m 6f Listed stks (1) gf in May '11.
Saddler's Rock (IRE) 6-1 (9-2) 4th of 11, 4 1/2l behind Molly Malone (8-12) at Longchamp(FR) 2m 4f Grp 1 (1) gs.