Media Stars won last year's renewal and is 3lb lower today. A good effort at Newcastle last time suggests he'll make another bold bid but he may find AL FURAT too good on this occasion. The latter won a shade cosily over a shorter trip here earlier this month and this looks less competitive. Free Art has gone close recently but remains without a win after 20 starts and a couple of these could prove bigger dangers on their seasonal debuts, namely Newcastle winner Pattern Mark and the unexposed Xclaim.
Free Art 5-1 (9-7) Tracked leaders, ridden to challenge winner over 1f out, no impression final furlong, lost 2nd near finish, 3rd of 7, 3/4l behind Another For Joe (9-7) at Hamilton 1m 1f Stakes (0-70) (3-4yo) (5) gd.
Gold Rules 28-1 (8-11) Soon led, driven over 3f out, headed over 2f out, weakened, 9th of 14, 11l behind Tartan Gigha (9-5) at Carlisle 1m 3f hcp 0-80 (4) gf.
Gala Casino Star (IRE) 16-1 (8-9) Prominent, took keen hold, pushed along 4f out, led over 2f out, headed over 1f out, beaten when eased final 100 yards, 8th of 15, 10l behind Elspeth's Boy (8-11) at Haydock 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in May.
Xclaim 13-2 (9-6) In rear, ridden over 3f out, not troubled leaders, 6th of 8, 2 3/4l behind Ellie In The Pink (9-3) at Goodwood 7f hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Aug.
Mount Abora (IRE) 11-2 (9-7) Led 1f, tracked leader, led again over 3f out, headed 2f out, weakened 1f out, 9th of 11, 18l behind Isdaal (9-1) at Chester 1m 2f fll hcp 0-70 (5) sft.
Conjuror's Bluff 14-1 (9-4) Tracked leaders, ridden over 3f out, lost place 2f out, tailed off, last of 13, well behind One Hit Wonder (9-11) at Windsor 1m 2f hcp 0-70 (5) gf in Jul.
Al Furat (USA) 8-1 (8-4) Dwelt, in rear, headway and switched left to outer 2f out, stayed on strongly to lead inside final furlong, won at Redcar 1m 1f hcp 0-75 (5) gf beating Whitby Jet (9-7) by 1 3/4l, 11 ran.
Pinotage 8-1 (9-2) Held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong, 8th of 18, 6l behind Searing Heat (9-1) at Ripon 1m 2f hcp 0-70 (5) gf in May.
Border Bandit (USA) 33-1 (10-0) Mid-division on inside, lost place over 5f out, soon behind, 8th of 10, well behind Calico Cat (9-7) at Thirsk 1m 4f mdn stks (5) gs in May.
Snooker (GER) 16-1 (9-3) In rear, pushed along and struggling halfway, never on terms, 9th of 12, 25l behind Thackeray (8-9) at Pontefract 1m hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Apr.
Pattern Mark 13-2 (9-11) Behind, ridden and headway on outside over 2f out, stayed on to chase leading pair inside final furlong, no impression, 3rd of 13, 3 1/2l behind La Bacouetteuse (8-13) at Newcastle 1m 2f app hcp 0-60 (6) gd in Aug.
Coral Sands (IRE) 7-2fav (8-9) Held up in touch, ridden over 1f out, soon weakened, 7th of 9, 31l behind Bright Applause (8-9) at Ripon 1m 4f hcp 0-70 (5) gf in May.
Media Stars 22-1 (8-10) Held up mid-division, ridden and headway over 2f out, led over 1f out, headed towards finish, kept on, 2nd of 11, 1 3/4l behind Idealism (8-7) at Newcastle 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) gd.
Downtown Boy (IRE) 9-1 (8-4) Raced wide, in touch, headway to chase leader over 3f out, ridden and every chance over 1f out, looked held when short of room 1f out, not recover, 7th of 8, 9l behind Raleigh Quay (9-2) at Hamilton 1m 3f hcp 0-65 (6) gd.
Fitzwarren 100-1 (8-11) Led, headed 5f out, ridden and lost 2nd soon after, weakened over 3f out, tailed off, last of 9, well behind Black Iceman (8-9) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-50 (7) pol in Jan.