Dandy Nicholls won this two years ago with Lovelace and now has Beacon Lodge, successful in the race 12 months ago, in his care. The seven-year-old hasn't scored since but goes well fresh and is almost sure to be in the firing-line again. Red Jazz ran some cracking races last year without managing to get his head in front and was probably unlucky to come up against the classy African Story on his reappearance in a Group 2 at Meydan. He deserves to win a decent race while Majestic Myles rarely ran a bad race last season and won a Listed contest at Chester. FIREBEAM has a bit to find on the form book but never stopped improving after winning his maiden at Lingfield last June and was hugely impressive over C&D in September. He gets the nod.
Beacon Lodge (IRE) 5-1 (9-1) Tracked leader racing freely, led briefly 2 1/2f out, soon ridden and no extra, weakened, last of 6, 29l behind Excelebration (9-7) at Curragh 7f Grp 3 (1) in Apr.
Firebeam 11-10fav (8-11) Made all, ridden 1f out, kept on well, won at Haydock 7f cond Stakes (3) gs in Sep beating Al Aasifh (8-8) by 2l, 8 ran.
Gramercy (IRE) 10-1 (9-1) Chased leaders, outpaced 3f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on same pace, no extra when not much room inside final furlong, 7th of 10, 3 1/2l behind Royal Rock (9-1) at Ascot 6f Grp 3 (1) gd in Oct.
Majestic Myles (IRE) (9-0) 7th of 12, 9l behind Golden Star (9-0) at Kranji(SNG) 6f fll stks Grp 1 (1) in Nov.
Red Jazz (USA) 10-1 (9-0) 3rd of 13, 6l behind African Story (9-0) at Meydan(UAE) 1m Group 2 sks (1) in Mar.
Scarf (AUS) 14-1 (9-0) Led until narrowly headed 5f out, pressed leader, still every chance 2f out, chased leaders until weakened entering final furlong, 6th of 7, 7l behind Sri Putra (9-0) at Kempton 1m Listed stks (1) pol.
Smarty Socks (IRE) 6-1 (9-0) Slowly away in rear, ridden 2f out, headway entering final furlong, stayed on to go 3rd near finsh, 3rd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Justonefortheroad (9-0) at Thirsk 7f stks (3) sft in Apr.