A tough race made difficult by many fancied runners holding low draws. Louisiade and Sir Bond are the form horses but we will elect to go with Banjo Bay. David Nicholls saddled a win earlier in the week at Pontefract and on this occasion, Banjo Bay looks to have gleaned a good draw and is more pertinently from a formbook perspective, some 26lb lower than his last winning mark. It looks highly significant that a professional rather than a claiming rider is booked today. Louisiade has done nothing wrong on two recent forays around Dunstall Park. A poor draw and a poor ration on turf look two good reasons to be against him. Sir Bond is a banded stakes graduate who ran well on a return to this grade at Beverley. He is not the most likeable of individuals though and any efforts seem to be accompanied by a severe thrashing of the tail. Nemo Fugat has proved expensive to follow in the past but is back at his ideal trip. Pays d'Amour is another regular in these contests although he has shown little to write home about of late. Waltzing Wizard is certainly not without a chance this afternoon. He has a fair draw today and was far from disgraced over a mile on his most recent start. Of the remainder, Sarraaf saves his best for today's ground and shouldn't be too far away. A tough race in which Banjo Bay looks well handicapped and can make the best of his high draw.
Louisiade (IRE) 11-4fav Chased leaders, led well over 1f out, soon clear, won at W'hampton 7f hcp pol beating Zhitomir by 2l, 12 ran.
Banjo Bay (IRE) 12-1 Chased leaders far side, effort over 2f out, one pace final furlong, 8th of 18, 3 1/2l behind Mister Mal at Ripon 6f hcp sft.
Nemo Fugat (IRE) 11-1 In touch, headway over 3f out, ridden well over 1f out, stayed on well inside final furlong, 3rd of 14, 1l behind Legal Set at Catterick 6f app hcp sft.
Sir Bond (IRE) 4-1fav Behind, ridden 2f out, headway over 1f out, ran on strongly inside last, chased winner close home, no impression, 2nd of 16, 6l behind Baylaw Star at Beverley 7f hcp sft.
Listen To Reason (IRE) 20-1 Held up, ridden and headway over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 5th of 11, 6l behind Fraternity at W'hampton 1m 1f hcp (E3) pol in Mar.
Abelard (IRE) 10-1 Chased leaders, hampered and stumbled 2f out, not recover, 10th of 14, 10l behind Abbeygate at Southwell 7f stk (G4) fbs in Mar.
Sarraaf (IRE) 11-2 Held up in rear, ridden 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 7th of 12, 4l behind Kew The Music at W'hampton 7f stk (G4) pol in Nov.
Pays d'Amour (IRE) 25-1 Mid-division far side, not much room after a furlong, one pace and no impression final furlong, 9th of 15, 8l behind Ulysees at Hamilton 6f hcp gs.
Francis Flute 16-1 Mid-division, ridden and headway 2f out, stayed on under pressure inside final furlong, not reach winner, 2nd of 17, 1 1/2l behind The Number at Catterick 7f sll gd.
Linden's Lady 6-1 Always towards rear, 11th of 13, 13l behind Regal Song at W'hampton 6f stk (H5) pol in Oct.
Come On 20-1 Went right start, with leaders until halfway, 9th of 14, 10l behind Attorney at Folkestone 6f app hcp sft.
Waltzing Wizard 5-1 In touch, ridden and headway over 2f out, ran on inside final furlong, not reach winner, 2nd of 10, 1l behind Gem Bien at Southwell 1m stk fbs.
Inch High 66-1 Raced far side, badly hampered after 1f, not recover, 13th of 15, 19l behind Ulysees at Hamilton 6f hcp gs.