A poor turnout for this quite valuable prize and Emerald Bay is chosen to beat Vanadium and Fly To Dubai. Mark Johnston, by his standards had a quiet Royal York, but on the whole his horses are now running well and Emerald Bay looks poised to follow up her recent Haydock success. She beat Pace Shot by a comfortable margin and looks on a fair mark for her handicap debut. Vanadium made up the numbers in the St James's Palace Stakes at York last week, but had previously landed a Sandown handicap in great style. He still has scope for improvement and looks the main threat to the selection. Fly to Dubai ran no sort of race at Doncaster last time but his previous victory at Ripon puts him in with solid claims here. Transvestite rarely runs a bad race and looks the pick of the others, however Emerald Bay won with plenty in hand last time and looks set to make it back to back victories.
Lincolneurocruiser 5-1co-fav (9-7) Held up, ridden halfway, soon weakened, 12th of 14, 12l behind Colonel Bilko (7-13) at Leicester 6f 2yo hcp (E) gf in Jul.
Vanadium 100-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, effort over 4f out, some headway over 3f out, no impression, 7th of 8, 15l behind Shamardal (9-0) at York 1m 3yo Grp 1 (1) gf.
Emerald Bay (IRE) 11-8fav (9-0) Made all, ridden over 1f out, ran on, won at Haydock 1m 3yo mdn (5) gd beating Pace Shot (9-0) by 1 1/2l, 14 ran.
Fly To Dubai (IRE) 7-2jt-fav (9-0) Led, ridden and headed over 2f out, lost pace over 1f out, 10th of 13, 14l behind Tax Free (9-0) at Doncaster 7f 3yo hcp (4) gf.
Transvestite (IRE) 14-1 (8-10) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, unable to challenge, weakened final furlong, 5th of 12, 3 1/2l behind Rohaani (9-4) at Sandown 1m 1f 3yo hcp (3) gf.
Bolton Hall (IRE) 14-1 (9-3) Held up in mid-division, not clear run inside final 2f, kept on final furlong, no danger, 5th of 13, 2 1/2l behind High Dyke (9-0) at Sandown 1m 3yo hcp (4) gf.