A competitive contest where Zabeel Palace will be popular with punters and Akram can go very well, but preference is for CALL ME A LEGEND. Alan King has his team in cracking form, and this Midnight Legend mare loves this ground and will be suited by this stiff track, given her extra reserves of stamina. She goes well when fresh and is fairly treated by the assessor, so we will go with her. Akram is raised 3lbs for just getting up to win at Kempton on Monday and he looks likely to be very competitive once again here, although he may well have his own stamina tested. Zabeel Palace has been placed by Barney Curley to land a hat-trick, but the handicapper did not miss his good Ascot success last time and has put him up almost a stone for that, making today's task much tougher, though not impossible. Picaroon was disappointing when seen once in the summer and has a bit to prove, while Nearby has to concede weight all around and has gone up 6lbs for winning at Wincanton in May. Nevertheless, trip and ground suit and he did do it easily that day, so Philip Hobbs' charge is very much respected. Call Me A Legend is the one for us.
Nearby 5-4fav (11-5) Mid-division, headway from 3 out, chased leaders approaching 2 out, shaken up to lead approaching last, pushed clear flat, comfortably, won at Wincanton 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in May beating Silver Point (10-12) by 6l, 8 ran.
Bedizen 7-1 (11-5) Chased leaders, ridden 3 out, weakened 2 out, 6th of 13, 13l behind Tritonville Lodge (11-6) at Stratford 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gf in Oct.
Harry Tricker 16-1 (11-0) Held up in touch, behind from 5th, ridden 3 out, no impression, 5th of 13, 7l behind Nampour (10-12) at Aintree 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gd in Oct.
Picaroon 11-4fav (11-3) Mid-division, pulled hard, mistake 2nd, headway 4th, led 6th, headed after 8th, weakened approaching 2 out, 6th of 10, 27l behind English City (10-3) at Market Rasen 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gd in Jul.
Call Me A Legend 5-6fav (11-12) In touch, took closer order after 5th, challenged 2 out, soon ridden, not quicken, 2nd of 9, 1 3/4l behind Ambrose Princess (10-7) at Newton Abbot 2m 3f mrs nov hdl (4) gf in May.
Akram (IRE) 6-1 (11-6) Held up in rear, mistake 2nd, headway going well approaching 2 out, shaken up before last, ran on well under pressure to lead post, won at Kempton 2m cond hcp hdl 0-1115 (4) gd beating Weststern (9-11) by shd, 14 ran.
Zabeel Palace 3-1fav (10-8) Held up in last pair, smooth headway on inside before 2 out, cruised up on bit to track leaders approaching last, quickened between horses to lead flat, not extended, won at Ascot 2m 3f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gd in Oct beating Karasakal (9-12) by 1 3/4l, 9 ran.
Dark Energy 33-1 (9-9) Held up, always well in rear, struggling 3 out, last of 12, 21l behind Dani's Girl (9-9) at Ascot 2m Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Oct.
Loco Grande (IRE) 4-1fav (10-6) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 5th, ridden after next, every chance when mistake 3 out, weakened well before 2 out where mistake, 7th of 8, 38l behind Rockiteer (10-9) at Bangor 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Oct.
Silver Point (FR) 9-1 (10-12) Led until 3 out, 3rd when hit next, weakened approaching last, 4th of 16, 15l behind Tito Bustillo (10-12) at Chepstow 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Princess Flame (GER) 11-2 (11-6) Held up in rear, headway on outside 5th, struggling 7th, no chance when hung left after 3 out, jumped right 2 out, 6th of 7, 33l behind Thehonourablelady (9-7) at Worcester 2m 4f mrs hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Oct.
Classic Fly (FR) 11-4fav (11-1) Chased leaders, led after 2nd, headed 3rd, led 3 out, kept on, headed towards finish, 2nd of 15, nk behind Vincenzio (11-12) at Towcester 2m 4yo Am hcp 0-100 (4) gd in Oct.