held up in 4th, switched right and headway over 3f out, 2nd over 2f out, ridden and every chance over 1f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong pressing for 2nd, no chance with winner
DEFOE made a winning return at this venue last May and went on to land a four-timer with a victory in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer here in October. He was below par in the St Leger when last in action but is taken to make a winning return and beat Call To Mind at Hamilton last summer. The latter went on to win a Listed race over 1m6f but Danehill Kodiac landed the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge over today’s trip at Ascot last term and look a bigger threat on that form. Autocratic may well improve for the step up in distance though will need to having been beaten in Listed company at Kempton last month while What About Carlo and Titi Makfi may be found wanting in this company.
Danehill Kodiac (IRE) (9-0) 10th of 12, 11 1/4l behind Highland Reel (9-0) at Sha Tin 1m 4f Grp 1 gd in Dec.
Autocratic 7-4 (9-0) Close up in 4th, ridden over 1f out, kept on to go 2nd inside final furlong, no threat, 2nd of 5, 2 1/4l behind Fabricate (9-0) at Kempton 1m 2f lst stks (1) pol in Mar.
Call To Mind (9-2) 2nd of 9, shd behind Ice Breeze (9-2) at Chantilly 1m 7f Grp 2 sft in Sep.
Defoe (IRE) 6-1 (9-1) Held up towards rear, pushed along over 4f out, ridden and headway over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 10th of 11, 28 3/4l behind Capri (9-1) at Doncaster 1m 7f Grp 1 stks (1) gs in Sep.
What About Carlo (FR) 8-1 (9-4) Oin touch on inner, pushed along and unable to quicken over 2f out, ridden and stayed on towards finish, 5th of 11, 4 1/4l behind Best Solution (8-12) at Newbury 1m 4f Grp 3 stks (1) sft in Oct.
Titi Makfi 12-1 (8-8) Made most, ridden over 1f out, driven and ran on when pressed inside final furlong, won at Kempton 1m 4f lst stks (1) pol in Nov beating Red Verdon (9-4) by hd, 8 ran.