Another cracking contest where AGAPANTHUS can emerge victorious ahead of Brushing, Sir Royal and Some Sunny Day. All four short-listed were last-time winners, but it was Barney Curley's five-year-old who perhaps left the greatest impression when running on strongly up the Sandown hill to win last time from a 4lbs lower mark. Fast ground suits, and this step up in trip should also be a positive. Brushing beat the useful yardstick Danehillsundance here last time over shorter than this and pedigree suggests that she is not certain to get this far, especially in such a competitive race, so we will take her on today. Sir Royal won't have any stamina issues as a Thirsk winner last time ovr 1m 4f. He is 7lbs higher today but it may be significant that Alan Swinbank has kept him at home since, perhaps in order to preserve his mark, and he can have a big say. Hughie Morrison's Some Sunny Day is 6lbs higher than when winning at Windsor last time out and goes well on fast ground, so should be involved, while High Ambition was only just held from today's rating at Thirsk over a similar trip and is respected. Proud Times appears to be better on slower ground and has yet to win on turf and Agapanthus can take this decent prize.
Alsahil (USA) 50-1 (9-4) Raced towards stands side, tracked leader until 3f out, 18th of 19, 42l behind Irish Heartbeat (9-8) at Doncaster 1m hcp (2) sft in Mar.
Some Sunny Day 13-2 (8-11) Took keen hold, close up until shuffled back and lost place over 7f out, headway on inside 4f out, good run on inside and hard ridden to lead 1f out, stayed on, won at Windsor 1m 4f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in May beating Run For Ede's (9-0) by 1 1/4l, 10 ran.
Sir Royal (USA) 12-1 (9-3) Steadied start, keen in rear, headway on outer over 2f out, every chance over 1f out, ridden to lead well inside final furlong, won at Thirsk 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Apr beating Kingsdale Orion (8-12) by nk, 15 ran.
Boucheron 14-1 (8-13) Led, headed over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 8th of 10, 7l behind Daraahem (9-6) at Haydock 1m 6f 3yo hcp (3) sft in Aug '08.
Rosbay (IRE) 8-1 (8-5) Held up towards rear, ridden over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 5th of 9, 3l behind Charlie Cool (9-5) at Ripon 1m 1f hcp 0-90 (3) gd.
Kingsdale Orion (IRE) 28-1 (8-11) Behind, ridden over 2f out, headway under pressure over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, never nearer, 7th of 17, 7l behind Deauville Flyer (9-2) at York 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) gf in May.
Brushing 11-4fav (8-8) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, driven to lead final furlong, kept on well, won at Carlisle 1m 1f hcp 0-80 (4) gf in May beating Danehillsundance (9-4) by 1l, 11 ran.
Palomar (USA) 5-2 (9-2) Soon tracking leader, led well over 1f out, soon headed and one pace, 3rd of 6, 6l behind Admirable Duque (8-3) at Wolverhampton 1m 6f 4yo hcp 0-95 (3) pol in Feb.
Daaweitza 33-1 (9-1) Led after 1f, headed over 3f out, soon under pressure, weakened over 1f out, 8th of 18, 18l behind Desert Recluse (8-3) at York 1m 4f ladys hcp 0-95 (3) gd.
Goodwood Starlight (IRE) 12-1 (8-11) Raced towards center, took keen hold in rear, ridden 3f out, never on terms, 5th of 7, 7l behind Ellemujie (9-2) at Newmarket 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) gf in May.
Proud Times (USA) 4-1 (9-7) Prominent, led 10f out, headed over 8f out, led 5f out, came wide entering straight, headed over 1f out, rallied towards finish to lead post, won at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) pol beating Speed Dating (9-4) by ns, 10 ran.
High Ambition 10-1 (9-5) Held up towards rear, headway when not clear run 2f out, switched right over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, just held, 2nd of 9, nk behind Hel's Angel (9-2) at Thirsk 1m 4f hcp 0-80 (4) gd.
Pendragon (USA) 6-1 (8-7) Tracked leaders, ridden to lead entering final furlong, kept on, headed post, 2nd of 12, shd behind Russian George (9-2) at Haydock 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) gf in Apr.
Agapanthus (GER) 6-1 (9-0) Close up, pushed along and no impression 3f out, only 5th entering final furlong, ridden and ran on strongly to lead post, won at Sandown 1m 2f hcp 0-80 (4) gf beating Penchesco (9-4) by shd, 13 ran.
Bivouac (UAE) 15-8fav (8-13) Tracked leaders, ridden and effort over 2f out to over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 5th of 8, 8l behind Southern Regent (8-11) at Southwell 1m 3f hcp 0-80 (4) fbs in May.
Mannlichen 13-2 (8-13) Led after 1f, narrowly headed 3f out, stayed front rank and every chance 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 12, 7l behind Jo'burg (8-11) at Sandown 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) gf in May.
Tropical Bachelor (IRE) 5-1 (9-13) Held up towards rear, headway from 2f out, never reached leaders, 7th of 13, 8l behind Tillietudlem (8-4) at Doncaster 1m 7f app hcp 0-70 (5) gd.