Stamford Raffles narrowly beat Aldreth over track and trip last month but was behind the latter at Chelmsford last time. Mister Bob and Dubawi Fifty are recent course and distance winners with the former taking a higher grade contest and CAVALIERI steps up in class. But Philip Kirby’s charge has won his last two outings by a wide margin, including over track and trip on his penultimate start, and a 7lb rise may not prevent him landing the hat-trick. The remainder are harder to fancy though Zakatal has been thereabouts since scoring at Wolverhampton earlier.
Zakatal 14-1 (9-1) Held up, rapid headway to press winner 6f out, ridden 2f out, kept on same pace final furlong, 5th of 10, 1 3/4l behind Royal Reef (8-4) at Kempton 2m hcp (3) pol in Jun.
Grand Meister 20-1 (9-2) Led, headed 6f out, tracked leader until over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, last of 6, 17 1/2l behind Good Run (9-3) at Newcastle 2m hcp (3) pol in Nov.
Aramist (IRE) 6-1 (9-1) In touch in rear, headway on outer over 5f out, ridden over 3f out, unable to quicken 2f out, kept on inside final furlong, 4th of 6, 5 1/2l behind Good Run (9-3) at Newcastle 2m hcp (3) pol in Nov.
Mister Bob (GER) 11-4 (9-2) Held up last, headway on outside edging left from over 2f out, ridden and struck on face by rival's whip 2f out, led over 1f out, hung left and clear inside final furlong, stayed on well, won at Newcastle 2m hcp (4) pol in Sep beating Lexi's Boy (9-13) by 1 3/4l, 5 ran.
Aldreth 3-1 (9-6) Towards rear, ridden and headway approaching final furlong, stayed on to go 2nd inside final furlong, no threat to easy winner, 2nd of 9, 5l behind Velvet Revolution (8-10) at Chelmsford City 2m hcp (4) pol in Nov.
Siren's Cove 20-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, headway on outside over 3f out, chased leaders over 2f out, ridden in 3rd over 1f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong, 3rd of 12, 3 3/4l behind I Am Not Here (9-5) at Newcastle 1m 4f hcp (4) pol in Dec.
Dubawi Fifty 6-4fav (9-7) Tracked clear leader, every chance 2f out, led entering final furlong, ridden and ran on, won at Newcastle 2m hcp (5) pol in Nov beating Merriment (8-9) by 3 1/4l, 6 ran.
Cavalieri (IRE) 5-1 (9-5) Held up, in rear, smooth headway on wide outside tracking leaders 3f out, 2nd 2f out, led over 1f out, ridden clear inside final furlong, very easily, won at Chelmsford City 2m hcp (5) pol in Nov beating Voice Control (9-13) by 4 1/2l, 11 ran.
Stamford Raffles 9-4jfav (8-13) Close up, switched right over 4f out, ridden over 2f out, kept on same pace, 4th of 9, 9 3/4l behind Velvet Revolution (8-10) at Chelmsford City 2m hcp (4) pol in Nov.