ZIDANE is capable of running a big race and heads a nominal short-list of three from Northern raiders Hitchens and Barney McGrew. The selection is versatile with regard to underfoot conditions which is a point in his favour given the unsettled weather forecast and he's become well handicapped following some modest runs at the end of last season. He made a satisfactory return to action at Doncaster in a race that also featured Saucy Brown, favourite Jonny Mudball and Courageous and he's fancied to step up on that performance. Barney McGrew proved that he can be competitive from this sort of mark when going close in the Ayr Gold Cup and he'll be better suited by the way that this race is run rather than the Abernant in which he made his reappearance. Philip Makin keeps faith with him rather than partner Hitchens for whom Jamie Spencer is an able substitute and Hitchens isn't too badly handicapped but may not appreciate any rain. Enact and Prohibit are others to mention in a race where any number hold live claims but we'll take Zidane to roll back the years.
Barney McGrew (IRE) 12-1 (9-5) Tracked leaders, ridden 2f out, kept on one pace, 5th of 8, 4 1/2l behind Equiano (9-5) at Newmarket 6f Listed stks (1) gf in Apr.
Genki (IRE) 7-2 (9-3) Mid-division, headway in 7th halfway, 4th 2f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace final furlong, no impression leaders, 3rd of 12, 5l behind Rayeni (9-2) at Curragh 6f Listed stks sft in Oct.
Golden Desert (IRE) 14-1 (8-11) Chased leaders, hampered over 5f out, effort over 2f out, soon weakened, 11th of 14, 17l behind Mia's Boy (8-11) at Doncaster 7f cond Stakes (2) gs in Oct.
Rileyskeepingfaith 14-1 (9-9) Held up in mid-division, bumped and hampered and lost place over 5f, ridden and hung right over 2f out, never dangerous, 8th of 14, 3 1/2l behind Beauchamp Viceroy (9-10) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr.
Prohibit 6-1 (9-4) Took keen hold, tracked leader, led over 1f out, hard driven, stayed on strongly, won at Kempton 6f stks (3yo+) (3) pol in Mar beating Elnawin (9-4) by 1/2l, 5 ran.
Flipando (IRE) 13-2 (8-13) Held up in rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, ran on well inside final furlong to go 2nd near finish, not reached winner, 2nd of 13, nk behind Secret Asset (8-1) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp 0-100 (2) pol in Apr.
Zidane 12-1 (9-0) Held up in rear, headway over 1f out, stayed on near finish, 7th of 18, 2l behind Kaldoun Kingdom (9-3) at Doncaster 6f hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Mar.
Enact 11-4fav (8-12) Held up towards rear, ridden over 2f out, headway approaching final furlong, stayed on to go 3rd inside final furlong, not reached leading pair, 3rd of 11, 1 1/4l behind Damaniyat Girl (8-12) at Newmarket 6f fll lst stks (1) gd in Oct.
Secret Asset (IRE) 33-1 (8-1) Raced keenly, tracked leader after 2f, challenged over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, kept on, won at Wolverhampton 6f hcp 0-100 (2) pol in Apr beating Flipando (8-13) by nk, 13 ran.
Saucy Brown (IRE) 33-1 (8-8) Close up, ridden over 2f out, effort inside final furlong, stayed on, 2nd of 18, 1/2l behind Kaldoun Kingdom (9-3) at Doncaster 6f hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Mar.
Courageous (IRE) 16-1 (8-11) Disputed lead until overall leader 2f out, ridden and headed 1f out, no extra and lost 2nd inside final furlong, 3rd of 14, 4l behind Castles In The Air (8-13) at Pontefract 6f hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Apr.
Jonny Mudball 5-2fav (8-8) Held up, headway over 1f out ,soon every chance, not quicken inside final furlong, 6th of 18, 1 3/4l behind Kaldoun Kingdom (9-3) at Doncaster 6f hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Mar.
Abraham Lincoln (IRE) 33-1 (9-1) Close up, ridden over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 10th of 16, 8l behind Lenny Bee (8-8) at Beverley 5f hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Apr.
Medicean Man 9-2 (8-12) Slowly into stide, held up towards rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on, 8th of 16, 6l behind Lenny Bee (8-8) at Beverley 5f hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Apr.
Parisian Pyramid (IRE) 28-1 (8-12) Towards rear, kept on inside final furlong, 6th of 16, 6l behind Lenny Bee (8-8) at Beverley 5f hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Apr.
Mo Mhuirnin (IRE) 10-1 (9-2) Held up in mid-division, good headway on outside over 1f out, ran on to lead towards finish, won at Wolverhampton 6f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Apr beating Anne Of Kiev (8-10) by 1/2l, 11 ran.
Fantasy Explorer 14-1 (8-9) Chased leaders, ridden over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 9th of 13, 6l behind Secret Asset (8-1) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp 0-100 (2) pol in Apr.
Orpsie Boy (IRE) 4-1 (9-4) Mid-division, pushed along over 3f out, ridden and weakened over 2f out, 8th of 9, 12l behind Beat The Bell (9-1) at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Mar.
Angus Newz 28-1 (9-0) Prominent, lost place halfway, soon beaten, 6th of 8, 9l behind Gilt Edge Girl (9-0) at Bath 5f fll lst stks (1) fm in Apr.
Hawkeyethenoo (IRE) 3-1fav (8-7) Held up behind, switched outside 2f out, headway over 1f out, led inside final furlong, ran on well, readily, won at Thirsk 5f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in Apr beating Green Park (8-13) by 2l, 12 ran.
Doric Lady 14-1 (8-9) In touch, slightly outpaced 2f out, ridden and headway approaching final furlong, soon switched right, ran on to lead well inside final furlong, won at Lingfield 6f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Nov beating Even Bolder (8-0) by 1 1/2l, 12 ran.
Rapid Water 5-2 (9-7) Led, strongly challenged from well over 1f out, headed just inside final furlong, soon weakened, 4th of 7, 3l behind Getcarter (8-9) at Newbury 6f 3yo hcp 0-80 (4) gf in Aug.
Indian Skipper (IRE) 20-1 (8-3) Slowly away, soon chasing leaders, ridden to lead inside final furlong, headed near finish, no extra, 2nd of 11, hd behind Sunrise Safari (9-3) at Leicester 6f hcp 0-85 (4) gf in Apr.
Imperial Guest 6-1 (9-4) Held up in rear, headway over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, won at Brighton 6f hcp 0-85 (4) gf in Apr beating Kerrys Requiem (9-3) by 1 1/4l, 7 ran.
Hitchens (IRE) 8-1 (9-6) In touch, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on same pace, 5th of 18, 4l behind Servoca (8-6) at Doncaster 6f hcp 105 (2) gd in Oct.