Steps was sent off favourite for a Group 3 at Newbury following an excellent run in the Portland Handicap at Doncaster but was never going the pace and finished well beaten along with Caledonia Lady and Judge 'n Jury. Trainer Roger Varian also saddles the three-year-old Rocky Ground but he proved no match for Noble Storm at Leicester before scoring at Beverley when subsequent Ripon winner Doc Hay, who won this last year, only finished sixth. MASAMAH finished just over a length behind Noble Storm in a handicap at Haydock last time but re-opposes on 5lb better terms and an earlier second in this grade at Doncaster suggests he's the one to beat today.
Medicean Man 15-2 (10-0) Dwelt, in rear centre, effort over 2f out, never dangerous, 9th of 11, 7l behind Justineo (9-11) at Doncaster 5f listed stks (1) gs in Sep.
Definightly 20-1 (9-10) Prominent, ridden 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 16th of 21, 9l behind Angels Will Fall (9-2) at Doncaster 6f hcp (2) gs in Sep.
Dinkum Diamond (IRE) 40-1 (9-11) Always behind, 16th of 17, 8l behind Jwala (9-8) at York 5f Grp 1 (1) gs in Aug.
Doc Hay (USA) 10-1 (9-5) Towards rear, pushed along over 2f out, headway and edged right over 1f out, soon ridden, kept on to lead well inside final furlong, won at Ripon 6f hcp 105 (2) gd in Sep beating Spinatrix (9-5) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Elusivity (IRE) 16-1 (9-3) Behind, switched left and headway over 1f out, never nearer, 11th of 16, 7l behind Demora (8-11) at Haydock 5f hcp 105 (2) gd in Sep.
Eton Rifles (IRE) 11-10fav (9-2) won at Fontainebleau(FR) 6f Listed stks (1) sft in Nov beating Personified (8-8) by 2l, 9 ran.
Free Zone 10-1 (9-5) Tracked leaders, ridden and every chance over 1f out, led inside final furlong, won at Yarmouth 5f hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Sep beating Jiroft (9-2) by 3/4l, 10 ran.
Judge 'n Jury 25-1 (9-0) Led group of 5 near side, well on terms, weakened final furlong, 12th of 13, 7l behind Maarek (9-0) at Newbury 5f Grp 3 (1) sft in Sep.
Masamah (IRE) 7-1 (9-10) Tracked leaders, effort over 1f out, kept on same pace, 7th of 16, 3 1/2l behind Demora (8-11) at Haydock 5f hcp 105 (2) gd in Sep.
Noble Storm (USA) 12-1 (9-5) Prominent, hard ridden when every chance over 1f out, faded final furlong, 3rd of 16, 2l behind Demora (8-11) at Haydock 5f hcp 105 (2) gd in Sep.
Rocky Ground (IRE) 4-1fav (8-8) Held up in rear, smooth headway over 1f out, driven to challenge inside final furlong, ran on to lead post, won at Beverley 5f cond Stakes (3) gf in Sep beating Addictive Dream (8-2) by hd, 10 ran.
Steps (IRE) 4-1fav (9-0) Raced near side, held up and never involved, 10th of 13, 6l behind Maarek (9-0) at Newbury 5f Grp 3 (1) sft in Sep.
Take Cover 8-1fav (9-6) Close up stand side, ridden over 1f out, no extra last 100 yards, 7th of 27, 3 1/2l behind Ancient Cross (9-10) at Ayr 6f hcp (2) gs in Sep.
Caledonia Lady 14-1 (8-11) Raced centre, chased leaders, ridden and weakened over 1f out, 11th of 13, 6l behind Maarek (9-0) at Newbury 5f Grp 3 (1) sft in Sep.
El Manati (IRE) 17-2 (8-3) Raced alone towards centre, prominent, ridden over 2f out, hung left over 1f out, kept on one pace, 2nd of 6, 3l behind Hopes N Dreams (8-5) at Hamilton 6f cond Stakes (2) gs in Sep.
Lady Gibraltar 11-1 (8-9) Tracked leader, effort over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 6th of 16, 2 3/4l behind Demora (8-11) at Haydock 5f hcp 105 (2) gd in Sep.
New Fforest 5-1 (8-8) Chased leaders, led over 1f out, ridden inside final furlong, stayed on well towards finish, won at Leicester 5f hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Sep beating Kyleakin Lass (9-2) by 1 1/4l, 13 ran.
Smart Daisy K 5-1 (8-11) Taken to post early, keen tracked leaders, ridden and every chance inside final furlong, lost 2nd towards finish, 3rd of 10, 3 1/2l behind El Viento (9-0) at Chester 5f hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Aug.