This ultra-competitive handicap provides a cracking start to the final day of the Guineas meeting and few can be dismissed out of hand. Sir John Hawkwood looked ready for a step up in distance when staying on late over 1m2f at Newbury in October but Mubaraza and No Heretic are dropped in trip. Fennell Bay got back to winning ways at Beverley and is only 3lb higher while Rawaki won on his final start of last year and seems oblivious to ground conditions. STENCIVE was only beaten a neck by Azheemah in a similar contest at Ascot in September and had Silver Lime, Fennell Bay and Opinion behind. He's 5lb higher on his return but could still confirm the form and gets the vote ahead of the consistent Willie Wag Tail.
Stencive 10-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, switched right and headway over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, never reached winner, 2nd of 19, nk behind Ahzeemah (9-2) at Ascot 1m 4f Handicap (Heritage) (3yo) (2) gf in Sep.
Sir John Hawkwood (IRE) 5-2fav (9-2) In rear, ridden over 3f out, headway under pressure over approaching final furlong, stayed on, not trouble leaders, 4th of 12, 3 1/2l behind Blue Surf (8-11) at Newbury 1m 2f hcp 105 (2) hvy in Oct.
All The Aces (IRE) 4-1 (9-4) Tracked leader until 7f out, tracked leaders, pushed along 4f out, ridden to chase winner 2f out, no impression and lost 2nd inside final furlong, 3rd of 5, 8l behind Mahbooba (8-11) at Newmarket 1m 4f Listed stks 3yo (1) gf in Sep '11.
Opinion (IRE) 25-1 (9-2) Mid-division, driven and headway over 4f out, beaten when hampered over 1f out, 15th of 19, 12l behind Ahzeemah (9-2) at Ascot 1m 4f Handicap (Heritage) (3yo) (2) gf in Sep.
Apache (IRE) 4-1 (9-4) Keen tracked leaders, effort on inner over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 6th of 8, 6l behind Universal (9-9) at Lingfield 1m 4f hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr.
Silver Lime (USA) 14-1 (8-11) Mid-division, headway over 2f out, soon chasing leaders, ran on closing stages, nearest finish, 3rd of 19, 1 1/4l behind Ahzeemah (9-2) at Ascot 1m 4f Handicap (Heritage) (3yo) (2) gf in Sep.
Rawaki (IRE) 11-4fav (9-1) Tracked leaders on inner, switched right over 3f out, chased leader over 2f out, led over 1f out, carried head high and pushed out, won at Yarmouth 1m 3f hcp 0-90 (3) hvy in Oct beating Samarkand (9-2) by 1 1/4l, 8 ran.
Willie Wag Tail (USA) 10-11fav (9-6) Held up in touch, ridden and headway 2f out, stayed on to 3rd 1f out, not pace to challenge, 3rd of 6, 2 3/4l behind Daghash (8-5) at Yarmouth 1m 3f 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gf in Sep.
Mubaraza (IRE) 5-2fav (9-4) Held up towards rear, pushed along over 3f out, ridden and hung right over 2f out, one pace and no threat to leaders final furlong, 7th of 11, 6l behind Desert Recluse (8-12) at Kempton 2m hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr.
No Heretic 15-2 (9-4) Soon led, quickened pace over 3f out, ridden over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, no extra, 3rd of 12, 1/2l behind Sir Graham Wade (9-5) at Doncaster 1m 7f hcp (2) gd in Sep.
Suegioo (FR) 11-4fav (8-12) Led, ridden over 3f out, headed narrowly over 2f out, driven and every chance inside final furlong, ran on, 4th of 11, hd behind Itlaaq (9-2) at Thirsk 1m 4f hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Apr.
Fennell Bay (IRE) 7-4fav (9-6) Led early, tracked clear leader until halfway, tracking leaders when not clear run from 2f out, switched left 1f out, ran on strongly to lead post, won at Beverley 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) gf in Apr beating Arizona John (8-10) by hd, 8 ran.
Wildomar 14-1 (8-5) Slowly away always in rear, ridden 3f out, soon weakened, last of 8, 13l behind Universal (9-9) at Lingfield 1m 4f hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr.
Nordic Quest (IRE) 10-3 (9-4) Held up mid-division, took keen hold, ridden over 2f out, soon weakened, last of 9, 28l behind Layali Dubai (9-2) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Nov.