If Frankel's not around, the scenario is that EXCELEBRATION wins. He's suffered five defeats at the hands of racing's superstar, including in this contest last year, but he's won every start in between. The Ballydoyle colt beat Cityscape and Elusive Kate, Group 1 winners in their own right, in the Jaques Le Marois at Deauville last time and another deserved victory at the highest level should come his way in this. German raider Indomito and St James's Palace Stakes winner Most Improved finished well behind in the same race in France. It's hard to know what to expect from the latter these days as he was also beaten by the much more reliable Side Glance when Andrew Balding's charge went close in a Group 2 at this track last time. Carlton House failed to land the odds in a lesser contest when dropped back to a mile on his latest start and is hard to fancy as is Sovereign Debt.
Carlton House (USA) 4-7fav (9-1) Pulled hard, soon chased leader on outside, led narrowly entering final 2f, unable to shake off challenger, ridden entering final furlong, headed final 150 yards, no extra in disputed 4th towards finish, 4th of 8, 2l behind Fanunalter (9-1) at Ascot 1m Grp 2 (1) gs in Jul.
Cityscape 33-10 (8-12) Brf spd,stalkd,evn out, 3rd of 9, 4 1/2l behind Wise Dan (8-9) at Woodbine(USA) 1m grd stk (1) gd in Sep.
Excelebration (IRE) 5-2fav (9-4) won at Deauville(FR) 1m Grp 1 (1) gs in Aug beating Cityscape (9-4) by 1 1/4l, 11 ran.
Indomito (GER) (9-6) 3rd of 11, 2 3/4l behind Master Of Hounds (9-6) at Istanbul(TUR) 1m Grp 2 flls (1) gd in Sep.
Side Glance 6-1 (9-3) Raced centre held up, headway over 1f out, ridden and ran on to go 2nd, not reach winner, 2nd of 10, nk behind Penitent (9-3) at Newmarket 1m Grp 2 (1) gd in Sep.
Most Improved (IRE) 7-2fav (9-3) Raced centre overall leader, set strong pace and soon clear, pushed along over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, headed over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 7th of 10, 8l behind Penitent (9-3) at Newmarket 1m Grp 2 (1) gd in Sep.
Sovereign Debt (IRE) 8-1 (8-13) Raced far side held up in rear, ridden over 2f out, soon edged left, never a factor, 8th of 10, 17l behind Penitent (9-3) at Newmarket 1m Grp 2 (1) gd in Sep.
Elusive Kate (USA) 11-4 (8-13) Stumbled badly and went left start, tracked leader, ridden and hung left over 1f out, chased winner inside final furlong, no impression near finish, 2nd of 8, 3/4l behind Siyouma (9-3) at Newmarket 1m flls Grp 1 (1) gd in Sep.