Hitchens went close dropped into this grade at Doncaster last month, splitting Shropshire and Hamza in the process. He could come out best of that trio at the weights today but is still giving away a lot of weight to his rivals. Poole Harbour was only beaten a nose at Windsor on his reappearance but the lack of a recent outing may count against Gabriel's Lad and Goldream at this level and Amadeus Wolfe Tone finished last at Kempton on his comeback. LADYSHIP has done little wrong to date and it may be significant that Sir Michael Stoute has kept her in training as a four-year-old. She's only won a Leicester maiden so far but found only the useful Hezmah too good over track and trip in September and may be capable of further improvement so gets the nod.
Hitchens (IRE) 14-1 (9-7) Held up, ridden and headway over 1f out, driven and stayed on towards finish, not reach leaders, 3rd of 20, 1 1/2l behind Move In Time (8-10) at Doncaster 6f hcp (2) gd in Apr.
Hamza (IRE) 25-1 (9-2) Prominent, led over 3f out, ridden over 1f out, soon headed, kept on one pace, 4th of 20, 2 1/2l behind Move In Time (8-10) at Doncaster 6f hcp (2) gd in Apr.
Shropshire (IRE) 12-1 (8-6) In rear, good headway to chase leaders over 2f out, ridden to challenge winner inside final furlong, not quicken near finish, 2nd of 20, 3/4l behind Move In Time (8-10) at Doncaster 6f hcp (2) gd in Apr.
Whaileyy (IRE) 9-2fav (9-1) 8th of 13, 7l behind United Color (9-3) at Meydan(UAE) 6f hcp in Feb.
Amadeus Wolfe Tone (IRE) 10-1 (9-1) Held up in mid-division, weakened well over 2f out, last of 15, 25l behind Grey Mirage (8-8) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-105 (2) pol in Apr.
Ladyship 2-1fav (8-13) Chased leaders, every chance 1f out, chased winner and carried left inside final furlong, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 9, 1l behind Hezmah (9-1) at Newmarket 6f fll hcp (2) gd in Sep.
Pearl Ice 20-1 (8-11) Held up towards rear center, ridden over 1f out, one pace, 15th of 26, 10l behind Captain Ramius (9-0) at Ayr 6f hcp (2) hvy in Sep.
Gabriel's Lad (IRE) 9-2fav (8-10) Chased leader far side, led overall 1f out, kept on well towards finish, won at Ascot 6f 3yo hcp 0-105 (2) sft in Oct beating Khubala (8-9) by 3/4l, 14 ran.
Johannes (IRE) 33-1 (8-8) Always in rear, 16th of 20, 10l behind Move In Time (8-10) at Doncaster 6f hcp (2) gd in Apr.
Goldream 4-1fav (9-2) Held up towards rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on and went 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 16, 1l behind Amadeus Wolfe Tone (9-2) at Doncaster 6f hcp 0-90 (3) gd in Sep.
Swiss Cross 5-1 (9-2) In touch in mid-division, closed 5f out, ridden 3f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong, 5th of 11, 3 1/2l behind Fast Finian (8-12) at Yarmouth 7f hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Apr.
Poole Harbour (IRE) 20-1 (9-5) Chased leaders on outside, ridden to lead 1f out, ran on well, headed post, 2nd of 15, ns behind Nocturn (8-13) at Windsor 6f hcp 0-90 (3) gd in Apr.
Doctor Parkes 12-1 (8-10) Slowly into stride, held up in rear, never dangerous, 6th of 8, 9l behind Piscean (8-13) at Wolverhampton 6f hcp 0-100 (2) pol in Dec.
Al Khan (IRE) 15-2 (9-3) Made most, ridden 2f out, ran on, won at Southwell 7f hcp 0-80 (4) fbs in Apr beating Lieutenant Dan (8-7) by 3/4l, 8 ran.
Living Leader 5-1 (9-6) Held up, ridden over 4f out, headway over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, went 3rd close home, 3rd of 10, 4 1/2l behind Twenty One Choice (9-0) at Kempton 7f hcp 0-80 (4) pol in Apr.