This has a very competitive look about it and it may be asking too much of the unexposed Diamond Guy following a lengthy absence. Gateway To Europe and Purple King are both on a hat-trick and the latter may still be on a fair mark with Cillin Leonard taking off a further 10lb. The track should suit the lightly-weighted Excellent Team while there is likely to be more to come this season from Sebastopol. Innocent Touch continues to try hard but is giving weight to less-exposed types including Grey Diamond and Giving Glances. The latter caught the eye on the Flat 12 days ago but HIGHLY PRIZED (NAP) is already a course and distance winner and was very impressive at Newton Abbot in August so gets the nod.
Innocent Touch (IRE) 10-1 (11-12) Raced in 2nd or 3rd, every chance 3 out, soon ridden, weakened before next, last of 5, 27 1/2l behind Sizing Granite (11-3) at Newton Abbot 2m 6f hcp (2) gd in Aug.
Diamond Guy (FR) 1-4fav (11-4) Made all, jumped left, became lit up by loose horse before 5th, hanging left from before 3 out, clear final 100 yards, comfortably, won at Ludlow 2m (4) gd in May beating Djarkevi (10-12) by 5l, 8 ran.
Flying Tiger (IRE) 3-1 (11-12) Held up in rear, closer approaching 4 out, chased leaders next, weakened before 2 out, 5th of 9, 13l behind Harefield (11-8) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp (3) gd in Oct.
Grey Diamond (FR) 7-2 (11-12) Pulled hard, made all, not fluent 2nd or 3rd, jumped right and not fluent 2 out, went right last, clear flat, won at Perth 2m hcp (4) hvy in Sep beating Green Zone (10-6) by 5l, 8 ran.
Gateway To Europe Evensfav (11-5) Made all, driven clear after 2 out, ran on, comfortably, won at Plumpton 2m 2f (4) gf in Sep beating Ban Shoof (10-12) by 3l, 7 ran.
Sebastopol (IRE) 2-5fav (11-5) Chased leaders on inside, hit 2nd, ridden and one pace in 3rd before the last, 3rd of 12, 3l behind Whoshotthesheriff (11-5) at Ayr 2m (4) sft in Jan.
Giving Glances 25-1 (9-3) Towards rear, not clear run 2f out, ridden and headway approaching final furlong, stayed on towards finish, 4th of 12, 1 3/4l behind Specialise (8-13) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp fll (2) gs in Oct.
Purple King (IRE) (11-4) Chased leaders, 2nd 4 out, led after next, drew clear last, very easily, won at Perth 2m (4) gd in Jul beating Lake Baikal (10-12) by 8l, 9 ran.
Fresno Emery (FR) 12-1 (11-4) Held up off the pace towards rear, pushed along in 6th after 3 out, soon weakened, last of 9, dist behind Christopher Wood (11-4) at Newbury 2m (4) gs in Mar.
Pagero (FR) 4-1 (10-12) Took keen hold, mid-division, jumped right 1st, mistake 2nd, not fluent 4 out, headway after 3 out, went 2nd before mistake last, no impression on winner flat, 2nd of 8, 11l behind Archimento (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f (4) gd in Sep.
Excellent Team 4-1 (11-2) Chased winner to 4th, weakened before 2 out, 4th of 5, 11 1/2l behind Hallings Comet (11-5) at Worcester 2m hcp (4) gd in Sep.
Ravenous 14-1 (9-5) Slowly into stride, held up towards rear, headway on wide outside over 3f out, soon outpaced, stayed on well closing stages, 3rd of 13, 11l behind Well Funded (8-11) at Chester 1m 6f hcp (4) sft in Sep.
Highly Prized 9-2 (11-4) Made all, not fluent 2 out, 2 lengths up when not fluent last and left further clear, stayed on, won at Newton Abbot 2m 1f (3) gd in Aug beating Guns of Leros (10-12) by 5l, 11 ran.