WESTERN ROOTS is our idea of the most likely winner with Theocritus and Solent Ridge also on the shortlist. The eight-year-old has had a short break after a busy spring campaign but he has gone well fresh so backers should not be unduly concerned. Best when allowed a soft lead, he could prove difficult to peg back if the other riders are not awake to the dangers. Theocritus was highly rated when trained in Ireland. Regrettably, he does have severe problems with bursting blood vessels so any innate ability is invariably compromised by the likelihood of the problem occurring again. Solent Ridge has one of the more experienced jockeys on board and having raced off marks in the high 80s a season ago, there is a cogent argument to suggest that he could be well handicapped at present. Granny McPhee is a moderate maiden. Her recent effort at Redcar entitles her to some consideration in this line up. Silver Blue is a course and distance scorer. He would have made more appeal had he not ran so badly at Chepstow on his most recent start, but the headgear that accompanied it has been removed. Julia Fielden was an accomplished amateur rider and she has made a habit of landing these races now in the training ranks. Strike Force seems happy enough on the likely going and regularly manages to make the frame. However, her rider is far from the most polished in a finish. Western Roots is selected.
Theocritus (USA) 9-2 (9-5) Slowly into stride, held up, tracked leaders on outer over 5f out, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, last of 8, 10l behind Agilete (9-6) at Sandown 1m 2f app hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Jul.
Solent Ridge (IRE) 16-1 (8-13) Tracked leader 5f, weakened over 1f out, hampered inside final furlong, 9th of 10, 12l behind Cruikadyke (9-3) at Salisbury 1m (5) gf in Jul.
Eastern Gift 10-1 (9-6) Raced far side, mid-division, ridden and headdway over 2f out, weakened 1f out, 7th of 12, 19l behind Northern Jem (9-6) at Newmarket 1m hcp 0-75 (5) sft in Jul.
Western Roots 14-1 (10-13) Slowly into stride, soon pushed along to chase leaders, joined leader 6f out, weakened over 2f out, 12th of 14, 28l behind Addwaitya (11-3) at Goodwood 1m 1f am hcp (0-70) (4yo+) (5) gf in Jun.
Granny McPhee 17-2 (8-9) With leaders, ridden and every chance 2f out, stayed on one pace inside final furlong, 4th of 10, 2l behind Ishiadancer (9-5) at Redcar 7f mdn stks 0-70 (5) gf in Jul.
Strike Force 4-1 (8-12) Held up, headway 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 5th of 7, 7l behind Penang Cinta (9-4) at Brighton 1m 4f app hcp (6) gf in Jul.
Artreju (GER) 50-1 (10-1) Took keen hold, raced wide towards rear, no real headway final 2f, 8th of 15, 13l behind Recession Proof (10-7) at Newbury 1m 2f am hcp 0-70 (5) gs.
It's My Day (IRE) 20-1 (9-8) Took keen hold, towards rear, no chance when hung badly left from over 2f out, 12th of 15, 27l behind Diktalina (8-4) at Windsor 1m 4f 3yo & 4yo sll (6) gd in Jul.
Silver Blue (IRE) 15-2 (8-11) Held up in rear, headway over 4f out, ridden 3f out, soon weakened, last of 6, 29l behind Beautiful Breeze (9-7) at Chepstow 1m hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Jul.
Corlough Mountain 16-1 (9-11) Never reached beyond mid-division, 10th of 16, 12l behind Shaded Edge (10-7) at Salisbury 7f ldy hcp 0-65 (6) gf in May.
Shape Shifter (USA) 20-1 (9-3) Beaten halfway, 9th of 10, 21l behind Nashmiah (8-12) at Lingfield 1m 2yo mdn aut (6) gf in Aug '08.
Jeronimo Joe 14-1 (9-4) Held up in touch, good headway on outside from over 3f out, driven and went 2nd briefly 2f out, no extra final 100 yards, 5th of 10, 4l behind King's Chorister (8-12) at Yarmouth 1m 2f 3yo sll (6) gd in Jul.