steadied start, keen hold, held up in rear, switched left and headway over 2f out, soon chased leading pair, reminder entering final furlong, driven and stayed on to lead final 50 yards
We'll tentatively side with THE CHEKA ahead of Ashram and Bonnie Charlie. The Godolphin runner has the highest official rating courtesy of some fine performances as a juvenile for John Hills. He hasn't scaled those heights this year but he has been placed in a Listed race and a Group 3 on his last two starts doing little wrong either time; this is his best chance of getting on the scoresheet. Bonnie Charlie was beaten a long way on his reappearance at Kempton in a similar heat that was well contested. He's entitled to come on for that performance but will need to in order to take the spoils. The Cheka spreadeagled the field at Ascot on debut and he proved that that was no fluke when running second in a Listed race at Sandown. He has endured a succession of small problems which has led to his absence from the track but connections are confident that he retains his ability and it may be worth taking the chance that he can do himself justice. Summer Fete failed to run her race in the Nell Gwyn so can only be watched along with Tropical Paradise who faces a tough task on his return. Ashram is the one that they have to beat but The Cheka may prove up to the task.
Ashram (IRE) 8-1 (9-4) Behind, good headway and chased leader over 1f out, no impression, soon lost 2nd, kept on one pace, 3rd of 16, 4l behind Ouqba (9-1) at Royal Ascot 7f 3yo Grp 3 (1) gf in Jun.
Bonnie Charlie 6-1 (9-3) Tracked leaders, went 2nd over 2f out, no chance with winner, weakened quickly over 1f out, 5th of 8, 14l behind Cloudy Start (9-3) at Kempton 1m cnd stks (3yo) (3) pol in Jun.
The Cheka (IRE) 4-1 (9-0) Reared start, tracked leader, ridden to lead well over 1f out, headed inside final furlong but no extra, 2nd of 11, 1/2l behind Sri Putra (9-0) at Sandown 7f 2yo stks G3 (1) gd in Aug.
Summer Fete (IRE) 10-1 (8-12) Held up, headway to join leaders over 2f out, soon ridden, weakened well over 1f out, 10th of 11, 21l behind Fantasia (8-12) at Newmarket 7f fll stks Group 3 (1) gf in Apr.
Kaabari (USA) 8-1 (9-3) Chased leaders in 4th, pushed along 3f out, weakened quickly and soon eased, tailed off, last of 10, well behind Forte Dei Marmi (8-8) at Goodwood 1m 1f 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) gd in May.
Tropical Paradise (IRE) 6-1 (9-0) Headway on outside over 1f out, driven final furlong, stayed on to lead towards finish, won at Kempton 6f 2yo hcp 0-90 (3) pol in Oct beating Rowayton (8-12) by 1/2l, 4 ran.