EQUIANO is fancied to make the most of this drop in class although Zidane is sure to be cherry ripe as he bids for a repeat of last year and Prohibit could also show up well. Hatta Fort could have his supporters on his first run in Blighty since 2007 and his second to J J The Jet Plane was certainly a commendable performance but this trip is on the sharp side. Edge Closer and Tax Free should both give their running and not be too far away whilst Knot In Wood's performance at Doncaster suggested that he may yet be a factor at this level. Prohibit scored first time out last season but his season didn't live up to that early promise; he has time on his side and merits consideration. Big things were expected from Redford last year and he didn't fare too badly without quite hitting those heights; this is his first run at this trip and Jamie Spencer jumps ship to Zidane. He was on board when James Fanshawe's gelding produced his trademark turn of foot to get up by a short-head in last year's renewal but Zidane was unable to add to his tally in Group company thereafter. He has leading claims but Equiano is a sprinter who proved capable of performing at the highest level when taking the King's Stand for his previous connections. Things didn't go according to plan in two subsequent starts for his new yard but the stable is in far better form this year than they were last and this is a suitable starting point for Equiano before he's stepped back up in grade.
Hatta Fort 7-2 (9-2) Settled rear; not much room 500m out; ran on well final 300m; nearest finish, 2nd of 12, 1 1/4l behind J J The Jet Plane (9-4) at Nad Al Sheba(UAE) 6f Grp 3 gd in Feb.
Matsunosuke 9-4fav (9-3) Dwelt, held up in rear, ridden over 1f out, no impression, 8th of 10, 3l behind Arganil (9-0) at Lingfield 5f Listed stks (1) pol in Mar.
Edge Closer 9-1 (9-0) With leader, lost place over 2f out, 11th of 15, 6l behind King's Apostle (9-0) at Ascot 6f stks (1) gd in Sep.
Equiano (FR) (9-10) In touch to over 1f out, soon beaten, 9th of 17, 6l behind Marchand D'or (9-10) at Longchamp(FR) 5f stks gs in Oct.
Exclamation 8-1 (9-4) Started slowly, always in rear, hanging right from over 2f out, never a factor, last of 12, 7l behind Warsaw (9-2) at Kempton 6f hcp (2) pol in Aug.
Knot In Wood (IRE) 10-1 (9-2) Held up mid-division, headway over 1f out, one pace, 3rd of 13, 2 3/4l behind Prime Defender (9-2) at Doncaster 6f Listed stks (1) gf in Mar.
Mac Gille Eoin 25-1 (9-1) Raced wide, prominent, ridden and weakened over 1f out, 8th of 10, 11l behind Prohibit (9-0) at Great Leighs 6f 3yo stks (3) pol in Oct.
Orpsie Boy (IRE) 6-1 (9-4) Tracked leaders, ridden and effort over 1f out, one pace final furlong, 4th of 9, 2 3/4l behind Eisteddfod (9-4) at Kempton 6f 3yo stks (3) pol in Mar.
Prohibit 4-1 (9-2) Steadied start, held up behind, not clear run over 1f out, again entering final furlong, switched right but no chance afterwards, 7th of 9, 5l behind Duff (9-4) at Lingfield 6f 3yo Listed stks (1) pol in Nov.
Redford (IRE) 11-4fav (8-7) Held up last, ridden and headway 2f out, stayed on final furlong, 4th of 8, 3 1/2l behind Ordnance Row (9-0) at Salisbury 1m Grp 3 (1) gs in Aug.
Spirit of Sharjah (IRE) 33-1 (8-13) Held up in midd-ivision, headway and effort when not much room entering final furlong, no further progress, 17th of 20, 6l behind Judge 'n Jury (9-6) at Doncaster 5f hcap (2) gd in Oct.
Tax Free (IRE) 4-1 (9-7) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden in 2nd over 1f out, led inside final furlong, kept on well, won at Curragh 5f 3yo Grp 3 gs in Jun beating Benbaun (9-9) by 1 1/4l, 8 ran.
Zidane 11-2 (9-6) Held up, ridden and headway over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 12th of 17, 15l behind Icelandic (9-3) at Doncaster 6f Listed stks (1) sft in Nov.
Angus Newz 50-1 (9-1) Chased leaders, lost place over 2f out, 16th of 17, 29l behind Icelandic (9-3) at Doncaster 6f Listed stks (1) sft in Nov.