PHLUKE is a prime candidate for top honours at this level and is selected ahead of Agilete, Bold Marc and Focail Eille. The last named has made steady progress in six previous starts - culminating with a solid effort to win a maiden in January. The Gay Kelleway-trained gelding may have more to offer but, as it's slightly disconcerting all his previous starts have been at Wolverhampton; he obviously needs to prove he can handle going right-handed on tonight's very different course lay-out. Bold Marc has been around for a long time and, having won off a 10lb higher mark in the past; it can be argued that he is well treated just now. It's also right to say he's as exposed as they come and, having never won on the all-weather before; there are a few chinks in his armour. Agilete has already won three times this season and, as Simon Pearce knows him well; a strong case can be stated for this son of Piccolo. However, as is the case with a few of these; he lacks experience of this unique course and, as he has shot up the ratings since his return to racing, he looks weighted to the hilt. Therefore, it can pay to take a chance with Phluke, who has held his own in much stiffer company and, as he drops into this grade for the first time; Eve Johnson Houghton's gelding is fancied to give us a good run for the money. Phluke handles this track OK but a mile does stretch his stamina, though, so only a minimum stakes investment is recommended.
Murrin (IRE) 7-1 (8-11) Held up in rear, pushed along and headway on outside over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, 4th of 12, 3 1/2l behind Driven (9-1) at Brighton 1m hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Apr.
Bold Marc (IRE) 5-1fav (8-10) Led until headed inside final furlong, no extra, 4th of 14, 4l behind Barricado (8-10) at Newcastle 7f hcp 0-80 (4) gf in May.
Phluke 8-1 (9-2) In touch, led well over 1f out, edged left when headed inside final furlong, no extra close home, 2nd of 10, 1/2l behind Paraguay (9-2) at Beverley 7f hcp 0-80 (4) gd in May.
Royal Envoy (IRE) 33-1 (8-8) Always in rear stands side, ease when beaten final furlong, 16th of 17, 27l behind Eton Rifles (9-4) at Haydock 6f hcp 0-80 (4) hvy in May.
Focail Eile 6-1 (9-3) Prominent, ridden over 2f, driven and ran on to lead inside final furlong, kept on, won at Wolverhampton 1m 1f mdn auc stks (6) pol in Jan beating More Time Tim (9-3) by 3/4l, 7 ran.
Agilete 7-2 (8-5) Tracked leader, ridden to challenge over 1f out, stayed on same pace, 4th of 10, 2 3/4l behind Agapanthus (8-10) at Yarmouth 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gd in Apr.
Desert Kiss 6-1 (9-4) Mid-division, hampered after 1f, ridden and headway over 2f out, hung left under pressure soon after, fading, 8th of 15, 4 1/2l behind Prince Rossi (8-6) at Chepstow 1m hcp 0-70 (5) gf in May.
Thunderstruck 16-1 (9-0) Always behind, lost place over 3f out, last of 8, well behind Joinedupwriting (9-1) at Ripon 1m 2f hcp 0-70 (5) gf.
Lopinot (IRE) 33-1 (7-11) Pulled hard in touch on inside, ridden and no impression over 1f out, keeping on when short of room on rail inside final furlong, 8th of 9, 4l behind Last Three Minutes (9-4) at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-80 (4) pol in May.
Rock Anthem (IRE) 8-1 (9-13) Switched left start, mid-division, ridden and headway from over 1f out, kept on final furlong, 4th of 15, 1 1/2l behind Norman The Great (10-2) at Newbury 1m 2f (5) gf in May.
Teen Ager (FR) 16-1 (8-11) Tracked leader, ridden to lead 2f out, kept on, ridden out, won at Lingfield 1m hcp 0-65 (6) pol in May beating One Oi (8-8) by 1/2l, 11 ran.
Comrade Cotton 10-3fav (9-3) In touch, ridden over 2f out, weakened well over 1f out, 7th of 13, 18l behind Murrumbidgee (8-8) at Nottingham 1m 2f app hcp 0-60 (6) gf.
Jay Gee Wigmo 20-1 (8-8) Never better than mid-division, 8th of 16, 13l behind Betteras Bertie (8-7) at Doncaster 1m app hcp 0-60 (6) gf in May.
Hey Presto 66-1 (8-2) Towards rear, soon ridden, weakened over 2f out, 9th of 11, 18l behind Seneschal (9-8) at Salisbury 7f app hcp 0-70 (5) fm in May.