MAGIC CITY won this a year ago and, despite continuing in excellent form in similar handicaps, is just 3lb higher so will take the world of beating. He just failed to catch Red Avenger and Heavy Metal in the Betfred Mile at Ascot but was staying on better than the first two and can take his revenge on the runner-up, who is still expected to get into the frame. Safety Check has returned from Meydan in good form and won a strong handicap over 7f here last time though he's probably better over this trip. Rene Mathis gained his second Newmarket success last time and, though that was over 7f and he's only run once over this trip, he wouldn't have been sent for this very competitive event unless thought capable of staying. Intransigent won a Listed contest at Chester so is by no means harshly treated on a mark of 104 while Apostle also won at Chester last time and any further rain would aid Dave Simcock's grey. Pat Smullen brought Short Squeeze with a superbly-timed challenge to score at York on Thursday and if Hugo Palmer's charge turns out under a penalty he will prove very difficult to keep out of the frame.
Louis The Pious 33-1 (9-5) Mid-division, ridden and headway well over 1f out, weakened inside final furlong, 11th of 29, 6l behind Heavy Metal (8-9) at Ascot 7f hcp (2) gd in Jul.
Intransigent 10-1 (9-0) Behind, switched right and headway over 1f out, ran on to lead inside final furlong, comfortably, won at Chester 6f Listed stks (1) gs beating Coulsty (9-0) by 2l, 7 ran.
Short Squeeze (IRE) 8-1 (9-4) Steadied start and soon switched left, held up in rear, headway going well and switched left just over 1f out, weaved through to close inside final furlong, just ridden hands and heels, ran on to lead near finish, won at York 1m hcp (2) gd beating Top Notch Tonto (9-3) by hd, 19 ran.
Heavy Metal 6-1fav (9-0) Tracked leaders, challenged from 2f out, led over 1f out, strongly pressed and ran on final furlong, caught final stride, 2nd of 17, shd behind Red Avenger (8-13) at Goodwood 1m hcp (2) gf.
Magic City (IRE) 4-1fav (9-6) Held up towards rear, headway 2f out, ridden inside final furlong, kept on towards finish, 3rd of 10, 1/2l behind Don't Call Me (9-2) at Ascot 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gd.
American Hope (USA) 11-2 (9-7) Raced keenly, tracked leader, led over 2f out, driven 2 lengths clear inside final furlong, headed final strides, 2nd of 11, nk behind Mange All (8-8) at Ascot 1m 3yo hcp (2) gd in Jul.
Rene Mathis (GER) 7-4fav (9-3) Tracked leader, led over 2f out, ridden and ran on, won at Newmarket 7f hcp 105 (2) sft beating Victoire De Lyphar (8-13) by 2 1/4l, 7 ran.
Dark Emerald (IRE) 11-2 (9-5) Tracked leaders, led over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, no extra towards finish, 4th of 10, 1l behind Don't Call Me (9-2) at Ascot 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gd.
Safety Check (IRE) 14-1 (9-0) Well placed tracking leading pair on inside, switched left over 1f out, ridden and quickened to challenge inside final furlong, led final 100 yards, kept on gamely, won at Goodwood 7f 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) gf in Jul beating Day Of Conquest (9-2) by 1/2l, 13 ran.
Redvers (IRE) 20-1 (8-11) Held up towards rear, headway headway over 1f out, ridden and no impression inside final furlong, 16th of 29, 9l behind Heavy Metal (8-9) at Ascot 7f hcp (2) gd in Jul.
Purcell (IRE) 15-8fav (9-1) Chased leaders, went 2nd 3f out, ridden to challenge over 1f out, soon weakened, 9th of 13, 11l behind Pacific Heights (9-2) at Chester 7f hcp 0-105 (2) gs in May.
Silent Bullet (IRE) 9-1 (9-3) Mid-division on outside, driven over 3f out, headway under pressure over 1f out, ridden and stayed on inside final furlong, went 3rd near finish, not reach front pair, 3rd of 10, 1 1/2l behind Alejandro (9-4) at York 7f hcp 105 (2) gf in Jul.
Majestic Moon (IRE) 8-1 (9-2) Led far side group and overall leader, headed over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 16th of 19, 9l behind Out Do (9-1) at Ripon 6f hcp (2) gd.
Apostle (IRE) 4-1fav (9-7) Midfield, headway over 2f out, chased leaders over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, ran on well, won at Chester 1m hcp 0-95 (3) gs beating Mishaal (8-12) by 1 1/4l, 13 ran.
Lexi's Hero (IRE) 5-2fav (9-10) Close up, led over 2f out, clear over 1f out, kept on strongly, won at Chester 6f hcp 0-85 (4) gs beating Ginzan (9-1) by 5l, 7 ran.
Almargo (IRE) 4-1fav (8-12) Led 1f, pressed leader, ridden to lead inside final furlong, headed and not pace of winner 100 yards out, outpaced into 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 13, 1 1/4l behind Safety Check (9-0) at Goodwood 7f 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) gf in Jul.
Clockmaker (IRE) 25-1 (9-11) Always behind, 9th of 13, 12l behind Apostle (9-7) at Chester 1m hcp 0-95 (3) gs.
Common Touch (IRE) 20-1 (9-1) Always in rear, 6th of 7, 10l behind Rene Mathis (9-3) at Newmarket 7f hcp 105 (2) sft.
Related 6-1 (9-6) Made all, ridden 2f out, ran on, won at Goodwood 7f hcp 0-90 (3) gf in Jul beating Lulu The Zulu (9-5) by 1 1/2l, 15 ran.
Jammy Guest (IRE) 16-1 (9-3) Started slowly, soon tracking leading trio, ridden and outpaced over 1f out, stayed on again inside final furlong, finished well and went 2nd last strides, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 2l behind King Torus (9-3) at Doncaster 7f stks 0-90 (3) gf in Jul.