This is a much more competitive nursery than the one won by Diamond Haze at Thirsk and he’ll struggle to defy his penalty. Hafez looked to be coming to hand when fourth at Sandown and Footstepstothehart has improved with every run and is almost certain to enjoy this longer distance. Paul Hanagan’s comeback ride, May She Shine, has plenty of scope while Nortonthorpe Boy ran his best race to date when only beaten a head over a mile at Ripon. The pedigree of the upwardly-mobile SIBAAQ (NAP) is packed with stamina so it will be a surprise if doesn’t relish the step up in trip and he gets the nod with an opening mark of 68 looking more than fair.
Footstepstothehart (IRE) 10-3 (9-5) Close up, pushed along over 2f out, ridden to chase winner inside final furlong, 2nd of 12, 1 3/4l behind Jianzi (9-0) at Pontefract 6f mdn stks (5) gf in Jul.
Hafez (IRE) 7-1 (9-5) In touch, headway and close up halfway, ridden to chase winner approaching 2f out, kept on same pace, 4th of 8, 5 1/2l behind Recovery Run (9-5) at Sandown 1m mdn stks (5) gf in Aug.
Twiggybark Creek 20-1 (9-5) Tracked winner until ridden 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 5th of 6, 5 1/2l behind Fountain Cross (9-5) at Haydock 6f stks (5) gd in Jun.
Nortonthorpe Boy 9-1 (9-4) Chased leaders on outside, went 2nd over 2f out, ridden and every chance inside final furlong, kept on towards finish, just held, 2nd of 10, hd behind Innse Gall (9-6) at Ripon 1m (5) gd in Aug.
Diamond Haze (IRE) 9-4fav (9-7) Restrained in midfield and keen, headway 3f out, ridden to lead over 1f out, ran on strongly final furlong, won at Thirsk 7f (6) gf in Aug beating Burristo (9-11) by 1 3/4l, 9 ran.
Sibaaq 10-1 (9-3) Edged left start, prominent, led over 4f out, headed over 1f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Charlie's Jamboree (8-12) at Chepstow 6f (5) gd in Aug.
May She Shine 9-1 (9-0) Outpaced in last pair, headway final furlong, never nearer, 5th of 9, 5 1/4l behind Hilarity (9-0) at Ripon 6f fll stks (5) gd in Aug.
Beechwood Emily 9-1 (9-0) Disputed lead, headed 4f out, pushed along for effort over 2f out, no extra inside final furlong, 3rd of 5, 4 1/4l behind Gift List (9-0) at Newcastle 7f fll stks (5) pol in Aug.
Spectrometer (IRE) 6-1 (9-5) Slowly away, soon recovered and led after 1f, pushed along and headed over 2f out, weakened final furlong, last of 4, 8 1/2l behind Chase The Dollar (9-5) at Ayr 7f mdn stks (5) gf in Jul.
There's No Danger (IRE) 40-1 (9-5) In touch in mid-division, effort and edged right over 1f out, not trouble leaders, 5th of 17, 6 3/4l behind Fools Rush In (9-5) at Redcar 6f stks (5) gf in Jul.
Fields Of Berries 40-1 (8-13) Slightly awkward leaving stalls, ridden along over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, last of 5, 5l behind Gift List (9-0) at Newcastle 7f fll stks (5) pol in Aug.