Casual Conquest, New Approach and Curtain Call form our one, two three here. The selection is awful value at the current prices, is less experienced than ideal and has been the subject of less than glowing gallop reports. However, he's certain to stay and won one of the more established trials in scintillating style where he thrashed the leading Ballydoyle contender, Washington Irving, by six lengths. The trainer has a good line on the Classic generation having sent out Famous Name to finish second in the French Derby and connections' decision to supplement their Hernando colt can be rewarded. A middle draw should be absolutely ideal as Pat Smullen shouldn't be hard-pressed to get a position in midfield before launching his challenge in the straight. New Approach also looks well drawn if connections decide to make the running with the Galileo colt and there's no reason to think that they won't. One of the many things that Jim Bolger has said about his star is that "he shouldn't have any difficulty staying a mile and a half" and his breeding supports that to some extent. His style of racing raises some concerns on that score but I don't believe that he'll fail for a lack of stamina but would be worried about his temperament although he has seemed more settled this year. Curtain Call was three lengths behind New Approach in the Futurity Stakes last year but the vibes from his stable have been encouraging. He's bred to come into his own over middle distances this season and did everything required of him at Nottingham. He's expected to find the necessary improvement to go close but he wouldn't want to get shuffled too far back from his draw and it will be interesting to see what tactics his jockey adopts. Tartan Bearer appears to be the Stoute first string following his head defeat of Frozen Fire in the Dante but Doctor Fremantle and Tajaaweed (who has reportedly worked well) shouldn't be dismissed on that basis alone. Rio De La Plata and River Proud are dubious stayers and of more interest at a price is Kandahar Run who is bred to get ten but shapes as though he'll get 12 furlongs. He's slipped under the radar in recent weeks having been popular in the winter and may just represent the best value in the race but he doesn't make anywhere near as much appeal as CASUAL CONQUEST, who is taken to overcome his inexperience and justify his cramped odds.
Alan Devonshire 22-1 (8-12) Steadied start, held up, headway 2f out, no extra over 1f out, 4th of 5, 4 1/2l behind Alessandro Volta (8-12) at Lingfield 1m 3f 3yo Grp 3 (1) gf in May.
Alessandro Volta 6-4 (8-12) Made all, hung left under pressure over 1f out, all out close home, won at Lingfield 1m 3f 3yo Grp 3 (1) gf in May beating King of Rome (8-12) by 3/4l, 5 ran.
Bashkirov Evensfav (9-5) Led and clear, reduced lead from over 3f out, strongly pressed and headed over 1f out, soon kept on same pace in 3rd, 3rd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Theocritus (9-5) at Leopardstown 1m 2f mdn stk gd in May.
Bouguereau (9-2) Tracked leaders, 4th straight, 5th and pushed along 3f out, soon one pace, 7th of 18, 7l behind Cima De Triomphe (9-2) at Capannelle 1m 3f Grp 1 (1) gf in May.
Casual Conquest (IRE) 13-2 (9-1) Chased leaders in 4th, dropped to last halfway, niggled along over 3f out, steady headway on outer to lead under pressure over 1 1/2f out, quickly clear, stayed on well, easily, won at Leopardstown 1m 2f 3yo Grp 2 (1) gd in May beating Was.
Curtain Call (FR) 8-11fav (9-5) Held up in rear headway on bit to lead over 1f out, ran on well, won at Nottingham 1m 2f 3yo stk (2) gs in Apr beating Drill Sergeant (9-1) by 6l, 3 ran.
Doctor Fremantle 11-8fav (8-12) Dwelt, soon in mid-division racing keenly, headway over 7f out, quickened on inside to lead over 1f out, ran on well inside final furlong, won at Chester 1m 4f 3yo Grp 3 (1) gf in May beating All The Aces (8-12) by 1/2l, 8 ran.
Frozen Fire (GER) 14-1 (9-0) Held up in touch and keen, ridden to lead 2f out, headed inside final furlong, rallied and every chance towards finish, just held, 2nd of 6, hd behind Tartan Bearer (9-0) at York 1m 2f 3yo Grp 2 (1) gf in May.
Kandahar Run 8-13fav (8-12) Tracked leader, led over 2f out, driven clear entering final furlong, comfortably, won at Newmarket 1m 2f 3yo lst stk (1) gd in May beating Meeriss (9-1) by 3l, 4 ran.
King Of Rome (IRE) 16-1 (8-12) Took keen hold, tracked winner, hung left and lost place over 2f out, rallied inside final furlong, kept on, 2nd of 5, 3/4l behind Alessandro Volta (8-12) at Lingfield 1m 3f 3yo Grp 3 (1) gf in May.
Maidstone Mixture (FR) (9-2) Tracked leader on inside, ridden over 1f out, kept on at one pace, 3rd of 8, 8l behind Izanagi (9-2) at Cagnes-Sur-mer 1m 2f stk in Feb.
New Approach (IRE) 11-10fav (9-0) Soon led, ridden over 2f out, kept on under pressure, headed last 100yds and no extra, 2nd of 5, 2l behind Henrythenavigator (9-0) at Curragh 1m 3yo Grp 1 frm in May.
Rio de La Plata (USA) (9-2) Held up, 11th straight, headway towards inside to go 3rd 1f out, kept on, 2nd of 19, 3l behind Falco (9-2) at Longchamp 1m Grp 1 (1) gd in May.
River Proud (USA) (9-2) In rear, pushed along well over 3f out, 18th straight, switched inside and headway 2f out, finished well, 3rd of 19, 3l behind Falco (9-2) at Longchamp 1m Grp 1 (1) gd in May.
Tajaaweed (USA) 5-1 (8-12) Held up in rear, headway on inside over 1f out, soon ridden to challenge, ran on to lead last strides, won at Chester 1m 2f 3yo Grp 3 (1) gd in May beating Unnefer (8-12) by a shd, 8 ran.
Tartan Bearer (IRE) 10-1 (9-0) Held up in rear, ridden and headway over 2f out, led inside final furlong, stayed on under pressure, just held on, won at York 1m 2f 3yo Grp 2 (1) gf in May beating Frozen Fire (9-0) by a hd, 6 ran.
Washington Irving (IRE) 4-6fav (9-1) In rear, 4th from halfway, 3rd under 3f out, short of room briefly entering straight, no impression under pressure from 1 1/2f out, soon moderate 2nd, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 6l behind Casual Conquest (9-1) at Leopardstown 1m 2f 3yo.