VALIDUS hasn't progressed as expected but may be up to winning off his current mark before the end of the season. A four-length defeat behind Mont Ras at York in August reads well enough in this company and doubts surround his chief rivals. Recent course and distance winner Mabait steps up a grade while Intrigo remains 8lb higher than when scoring at Doncaster in June. Directorship looks in the handicapper's grip now so Mister Music is a bigger danger on his earlier conditions race victory at Bath. Fort Bastion has a shout on last year's best form but Jodies Jem was engaged to run at Ascot yesterday.
Sandagiyr (FR) 9-1 (9-12) Slowly into stride, held up in rear, headway under pressure over 1f out, stayed on to go 3rd inside final furlong, never troubled leaders, 3rd of 8, 6l behind Short Squeeze (8-11) at Haydock 1m hcp 105 (2) gd in Sep.
Fort Bastion (IRE) 25-1 (9-2) Raced centre tracked leader, ridden over 2f out, weakened final furlong, 7th of 9, 6l behind Tawhid (8-13) at Newbury 7f Listed stks 3yo (1) sft in Sep.
Validus 16-1 (9-4) Held up in rear, headway over 1f out, kept on well final furlong, never troubled leaders, 4th of 7, 6l behind Penitent (9-4) at Sandown 1m Listed stks 3yo (1) hvy in Sep.
Mister Music 25-1 (9-0) In rear, never a factor, 8th of 9, 35l behind Grandeur (9-0) at Goodwood 1m 2f Listed stks 3yo (1) gd in Sep.
Directorship 9-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, pushed along over 2f out, plugged on inside final furlong, no threat, 7th of 10, 7l behind Nine Realms (9-8) at Ascot 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gd in Aug.
Trail Blaze (IRE) 12-1 (9-8) Chased leaders center, ridden and merged with stand side group over 1f out, weakened entering final furlong, 18th of 27, 13l behind Ancient Cross (9-10) at Ayr 6f hcp (2) gs in Sep.
Intrigo 7-2 (9-5) Tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened final furlong, 7th of 8, 7l behind Breden (8-6) at Newmarket 1m 3yo hcp 0-100 (2) gf in Aug.
Mabait 5-1 (8-9) Held up, progress 3f out, headway approaching final furlong, pushed along and ran on to lead final strides, won at Newmarket 1m hcp 0-95 (3) gd in Sep beating Uppercut (9-0) by hd, 8 ran.
Jodies Jem 25-1 (9-4) In touch, ridden when switched right over 1f out, stayed on to go 3rd towards finish, 3rd of 12, 1 3/4l behind Tobacco Road (8-12) at Sandown 1m 3yo hcp 0-90 (3) sft in Sep.