Septimus is probably better than he showed on his reappearance at Longchamp last month as Aidan O'Brien's horses were badly out of form at that time and he is taken to bounce back to form here at the main expense of Best Alibi and Palace Episode. The last mentioned sprung something of a surprise when landing the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster last term, with both Septimus and Best Alibi behind, and has to be respected on that evidence; however, the ground that day was desperate and the son of Machiavellian has since switched to the yard of Godolphin that is struggling for winners at present. Leningrad made a winning debut at Lingfield last month and could be anything but Michael Bell's colt would need to improve considerably on that effort to trouble the selection. The Last Drop made an encouraging return in the Classic Trial at Sandown but the form of that race has not worked out particularly well, while Snoqualmie Boy represents the form of the sadly absent Hala Bek but was well held by the Michael Jarvis-trained colt before landing a handicap last time. This looks tougher for David Elsworth's colt though and a bigger threat is likely to come from Sir Michael Stoute's Best Alibi. A faster surface would probably have been more suitable for him though and preference is for Septimus, who is taken to continue the resurgence in form of the O'Brien stable.
Best Alibi (IRE) 16-1 (9-0) Held up, ridden over 1f out, stayed on same pace final furlong, never troubled leaders, 4th of 7, 4l behind Palace Episode (9-0) at Doncaster 1m 2yo Grp 1 (1) hvy in Oct.
Leningrad (IRE) 10-11fav (9-3) Dwelt, held up, effort going easily 2f out, tracked leaders over 1f out, eased into lead on bit inside final furlong, soon clear, won at Lingfield 1m 2f 3yo mdn (5) pol in Apr beating Alcyon (9-3) by 1 1/2l, 12 ran.
Palace Episode (USA) 20-1 (9-0) Tracked leaders, headway to challenge over 2f out, led over 1f out, ridden and edged right inside final furlong, kept on well, won at Doncaster 1m 2yo Grp 1 (1) hvy in Oct beating Winged Cupid (9-0) by 1 1/2l, 7 ran.
Septimus (IRE) (9-2) Held up, 8th straight, switched out and stayed on at one pace, 7th of 9, 2l behind Barastraight (9-2) at Longchamp 1m 2f Grp 3 (1) in Apr.
Snoqualmie Boy 2-1 (9-4) Took keen hold, behind leaders, went 2nd over 6f out, led over 2f out, stayed on well, eased close home, won at Salisbury 1m 2f 3yo hcp (4) frm beating Awatuki (9-3) by 1 1/2l, 5 ran.
The Last Drop (IRE) 7-2 (9-0) Slowly into stride, held up last, headway going well over 1f out, with winner final furlong, not quicken near finish, 2nd of 5, nk behind Primary (9-0) at Sandown 1m 2f 3yo Grp 3 (1) gd in Apr.