FASCINATING ROCK was a long odds-on chance when landing this a year ago but Aidan O'Brien had won the previous six renewals. Dermot Weld's charge crowned a tremendous year by taking the Champion Stakes at Ascot where he gave Found 8lb and a beating of just over a length. The runner-up only receives 3lb here and looks held though she subsequently landed the Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland and has the benefit of a run here last month where she couldn't handle the very testing ground. Success Days finished in front of her on that occasion and if the ground came up heavy would have a fair chance of some place money but Altesse is a Listed performer at best and would need to show major improvement to get involved.
Fascinating Rock (IRE) 10-1 (9-5) Held up towards rear, headway over 2f out, ridden chasing leaders over 1f out, 2nd approaching final furlong, driven to lead inside final furlong, stayed on strongly and won going away, won at Ascot 1m 2f Grp 1 stks (1) gs in Oct beating Found (8-11) by 1 1/4l, 13 ran.
Found (IRE) 9-10fav (9-7) Settled behind leaders, 3rd halfway, ridden 1 1/2f out, no impression over 1f out, kept on one pace, 3rd of 5, 7 3/4l behind Zhukova (9-3) at Curragh 1m 2f lst stks (1) hvy in Apr.
Success Days (IRE) 9-2 (9-10) Led, edged left over 2f out, ridden and pressed 1 1/2f out, soon disputed, hung left under pressure, headed 1f out, drifted left and slightly hampered last 150 yards, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 4 3/4l behind Zhukova (9-3) at Curragh 1m 2f lst stks (1) hvy in Apr.
The Steward (USA) 15-8fav (10-3) Tracked leaders, led over 1f out, soon ridden and pressed, held on well towards finish, won at Wolverhampton 2m 1f hcp (4) pol in Jan beating Glan Y Gors (9-3) by nk, 6 ran.
Hot Sauce (IRE) 8-1 (8-11) Ran 4th, pushed along 2f out, ridden to go 3rd 1f out, no impression on winner inside final furlong, kept on one pace to go 2nd close home, 2nd of 8, 5l behind Fire Fighting (9-7) at Dundalk 1m 3f lst stks (1) pol in Oct.
Altesse 5-1 (9-4) Chased leader, 6th halfway, progress on outer entering straight and challenged 2f out, ridden in 2nd over 1f out, no impression on winner inside final furlong, 2nd of 8, 2 3/4l behind Bondi Beach (9-10) at Limerick 1m 4f lst stks (1) Yielding in Apr.