Hochfeld won easily over track and trip last season but paid the price with a hike in the weights and remains 11lb higher. A smart hurdler, Elgin has recorded a double in novice company and makes his handicap debut on the Flat but HAMADA (NAP) makes most appeal. He landed a hat-trick with victory in this grade at York in May and a 4lb rise may not be enough to anchor him in this. Natural Scenery also represents Godolphin and is better than he’s shown so far this year while Shraaoh won nicely over today’s trip at Goodwood last time and could figure. Saunter is worth another try over 1m6f and looks best of the rest.
Hochfeld (IRE) 16-1 (9-6) Tracked clear leader, ridden and every chance over 1f out, faded inside final furlong, 5th of 16, 6l behind First Nation (9-0) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp (2) gd in Oct.
Natural Scenery 11-2 (9-3) Held up towards rear, headway over 4f out, driven and no impression when not clear run over 2f out, never threatened leaders, 11th of 20, 18 1/4l behind Withhold (9-1) at Newcastle 2m hcp (2) pol in Jun.
Elgin 4-6fav (9-9) Close up, went 3rd 5f out, tracked leader over 3f out, led on bit entering final furlong, readily, won at Catterick 1m 4f stks (5) gd in Jun beating Saroog (9-2) by 3/4l, 5 ran.
Hamada 5-2fav (8-12) Disputed close 2nd, outright 2nd 3f out, challenged over 1f out, shaken up to lead inside final furlong, stayed on, won at York 1m 4f hcp (2) gf in May beating Crowned Eagle (9-5) by hd, 7 ran.
Shraaoh (IRE) 9-2 (9-7) Held up towards rear, headway over 2f out, led inside final furlong, stayed on well, won at Goodwood 1m 6f hcp (3) gd in Jun beating Sky Eagle (8-9) by 1 1/2l, 9 ran.
Fire Jet (IRE) 33-1 (9-5) Soon towards rear, headway over 2f out, soon ridden, kept on from over 1f out, never threatened leaders, 7th of 19, 11 1/4l behind Cosmelli (9-7) at Newcastle 2m hcp (2) pol in Jun.
Project Bluebook (FR) 25-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders on inside, disputed 2nd 3 out, ridden and lost place between last 2, kept on same pace, no impression before last, 6th of 19, 4 1/4l behind Jester Jet (10-9) at Aintree 2m 4f hcp (1) sft in Apr.
Saunter (FR) 16-1 (9-4) Mid-division, switched left over 2f out, soon ridden to challenge, never on terms, 8th of 17, 6 1/4l behind Dash Of Spice (9-3) at Ascot 1m 4f hcp stks (2) gf in Jun.