It's difficult to oppose EXPRESSO STAR given the authority with which he won over course and distance last time. Possibles for the forecast include Mr Hichens and Conquisto. The selection was backed as though defeat was out of the question at the end of August on his first run since the end of May and his narrow defeat was disappointing in light of that. They then found him a soft race which told us nothing but he destroyed a competitive field here last time which has caused his mark to rise by 11lbs. He's able to race here under a 6lb penalty though and should take all the beating. Mr Hichens was a shade disappointing at Sandown but may have found the race coming too soon. He usually makes the running as well and may find that he has competition for the lead which could impair his chances. Conquisto has to put two modest displays behind him but ran well when narrowly defeated by Ascot Lime in August which makes him of interest with his yard going well. A tongue strap may help Maramba, Rainbow Mirage may reverse Haydock form with the consistent Suits Me if seeing out this longer trip whilst Ella Woodcock's latest run can be ignored as he failed to handle the heavy ground. The suspicion is that they are all playing for minor roles behind Expresso Star.
Suits Me 12-1 (8-13) Mid-division, headway over 2f out, driven and stayed on to chase winner inside final furlong, held near finish, 2nd of 12, 1/2l behind Kal Barg (9-2) at Haydock 1m hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Sept.
Jaser 9-1 (8-13) Towards rear, never dangerous, 13th of 16, 10l behind Osteopathic Remedy (9-4) at Ripon 1m hcp 0-100 (2) gs in Aug.
Rainbow Mirage (IRE) 13-2 (9-1) Keen early, tracked leaders, ridden and effort over 2f out, kept on final furlong, 3rd of 12, 2l behind Kal Barg (9-2) at Haydock 1m hcp 0-95 (3) gf in Sept.
Sahrati 25-1 (8-10) Prominent, under pressure 3f out, weakened approaching final furlong, 7th of 12, 4l behind Night Crescendo (8-10) at Ascot 1m 4f hcp 0-105 (2) gd in Sept.
Amanda Carter 5-1 (8-8) Took keen hold, tracked leader after 1f to 2f out, soon ridden and weakened, 5th of 9, 10l behind Amanjena (8-7) at Ascot 1m 2f stk 0-90 (3) gf in Sept.
Blue Spinnaker (IRE) 13-2 (9-6) Chased leaders, ridden to lead over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, kept on, 2nd of 12, nk behind Medici Pearl (9-5) at Ayr 1m hcap (4) hvy in Sept.
Maramba (USA) 16-1 (8-9) Tracked leaders, ridden 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 9th of 15, 18l behind Cape Amber (8-9) at Yarmouth 1m 2f lst fll stk (1) gd in Sept.
Indicible (FR) 11-2 (9-3) Led, ridden and headed inside final 2f, weakened final furlong, 5th of 13, 6l behind Kavachi (9-1) at Newbury 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) gd in May.
Mr Hichens 11-4fav (9-7) Led until headed inside final 2f, weakened final furlong, 4th of 11, 7l behind Dr Livingstone (8-12) at Sandown 1m 2f 3yo hcp (4) sft in Sept.
Conquisto 9-2jt-fav (9-5) Held up towards rear, plugged on final 2f out, never going pace to reach leaders, 8th of 11, 6l behind Redesignation (9-4) at Sandown 1m 2f hcap (3) sft in Sept.
Expresso Star (USA) 5-2fav (8-13) Held up in touch, led over 2f out, soon driven clear, eased close home, won at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) sft beating St Jean Cap Ferrat (9-0) by 5l, 15 ran.
Ella Woodcock (IRE) 12-1 (8-13) Led, ridden and headed 3f out, soon weakened, last of 8, 37l behind Allied Powers (9-3) at Ayr 1m 2f hcap (2) hvy in Sept.
Granston (IRE) 9-2 (8-10) Tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened inside final furlong, 4th of 6, 7l behind Fragrancy (9-4) at Pontefract 1m 2f hcp 0-100 (2) gf in Sept.