Hermocrates won at Brighton last week, despite hanging under pressure in the closing stages. That’s earned him a penalty but he still goes on the short-list. Elegant Love is only a plater, however, while the ground is an unknown for both The Dancing Poet and Isle of Wolves. MUKHA MAGIC was only headed close home on soft going at Nottingham in June and then won over this course and distance on a quicker surface. He’s not been disgraced off higher marks here since and could be the one to beat on the ground. Seeusoon and the maiden Slade King are also interesting with the latter now fitted with a visor.
Hermocrates (FR) 10-1 (9-8) Chased leader, led over 1f out, clear when edged left inside final furlong, ridden out, won at Brighton 1m 2f hcp (6) gs in Oct beating Hammy End (9-4) by 2 3/4l, 15 ran.
Isle of Wolves 9-4fav (9-2) Chased leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 4th of 6, 7 3/4l behind Knowing (9-7) at Epsom 1m 2f hcp (5) gd in Sep.
Slade King (IRE) 16-1 (8-7) Tracked leader until 6f out, tracked leaders, ridden to lead approaching 2f out, headed inside final furlong, stayed on, 3rd of 7, 3/4l behind Sucellus (9-10) at Sandown 1m 2f hcp (4) gd in Sep.
Venusta (IRE) 12-1 (9-4) Behind, headway over 1f out, never on terms, 4th of 10, 8l behind Vindolanda (9-6) at Haydock 1m 4f hcp (5) hvy in Sep.
Fox Fearless 33-1 (8-11) Driven leaving stalls, led, headed over 3f out, weakened from over 2f out, last of 6, 14 3/4l behind Calculation (9-2) at Haydock 1m 6f hcp (4) gs in Jul.
Seeusoon (IRE) 9-1 (8-11) Mid-division, under pressure over 2f out, soon weakened, 10th of 13, 25 1/2l behind Well Funded (8-11) at Chester 1m 6f hcp (4) sft in Sep.
Say Nothing 6-1 (9-7) Chased leaders, lost place well over 2f out, last of 8, dist behind Harmonise (9-12) at Leicester 1m 4f hcp fll (5) gd in Aug.
Mukha Magic 6-1 (9-0) Tracked clear leader over 3f, handy 3rd, pushed along over 3f out, ridden and weakened inside final 2f, 4th of 6, 10 3/4l behind Fantastic Blue (9-6) at Windsor 1m 3f hcp (5) gf in Aug.
Elegant Love 7-2 (8-7) Led over 3f, tracked leader, in front again 4f out, clear when led field to far side in straight, reduced lead 2f out, ridden over 1f out, headed post, 2nd of 11, shd behind Dawn Treader (8-8) at Windsor 1m 2f stks (6) sft in Oct.
Sherwood Forrester 9-1 (9-4) Led, headed over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, last of 9, 35 1/2l behind Paths Of Glory (10-0) at Ffos Las 1m 4f mdn stks (5) gf in Aug.
Duke of Yorkie (IRE) 40-1 (8-5) Squeezed out start, pushed along and struggling halfway, always towards rear, 12th of 14, 16 3/4l behind Charlie Arthur (9-3) at Chelmsford City 1m 2f hcp (6) pol in Sep.
The Dancing Poet 9-1 (9-4) Dwelt keen tracked leaders, chased winner over 5f out, ridden 2f out, kept on one pace final furlong, 3rd of 12, 3 1/4l behind Kashagan (9-10) at Wolverhampton 1m 1f hcp (5) pol in Sep.